It’s exactly one year today since AFC Leopards went to the polls and elected a new chairman, Dan Mule granting him four years to lead the club.
Mule, a front runner in the buildup to the election, got elected with 1,160 votes, trouncing his closest rival Maurice Amahwa with 338 votes. Robert Asembo garnered 119 at a distant third, while Mathews Opwora, who had pulled out of the race earlier, got eight. Felix Shitsama was overwhelming elected vice chairman, with 1613 votes, more than double his challenger. Timothy Lilumbi, who was part of Mule’s ‘Hapa Kazi Tu’ Team, survived a scare from Gilbert Selebwa, amassing 920 votes, six more than Selebwa.
Of the 5,294 registered voters, only 2,200 turned up to vote. Dan Mule was elected chairman alongside most of his preferred picks for other positions. His election came at a time when the club had witnessed bare-knuckle leadership struggles that almost saw the club relegated.
In his campaign manifesto, Dan Mule promised to deliver amongst other things; stability in office, titles and a stadium. The chairman had outlined how he intended to work alongside the club’s shirt sponsors, Sportpesa to help secure land where they would construct a stadium. The stadium remains a dream, a wild one.
One year later, not much has changed. Some matters are headed south more than ever before. In just one year of his reign, AFC Leopards has witnessed a huge turnover of coaches with Ivan Minnaert, Ezekiel Akwana, Stewart Hall, Dorian Marin and Robert Matano all making up a tally of five coaches in just a year. A shocking average of a coach every 2 and a half months! It is under Dan Mule’s reign that Leopards had one of the shortest serving coaches -Dorian Marin who never lasted a month.
Despite promising to deliver titles, there has been so sign of any titles, as Leopard’s performance on the pitch has only remained unimpressive, to say the least. This season, their only hope lies in the GOTV Shield Cup. The club is no longer considered a force to reckon in the local league.
Financially, AFC Leopards is still in debt. Although steps have been taken to ensure that salary and remuneration issues are a thing of the past, the club is yet to be stable financially and more often than not, relies on borrowing and donations. Interestingly, at the start of the 2017 Financial Year, the club was short of its annual budget by well over 10 million shillings. You would ask why. The caretaker committee that led the club before the elections, had eaten into the 2017 sponsorship money from Sportpesa. Some of those monies are yet to be accounted for.
Although the club had sought to professionalise all its operations by setting up a fully functional secretariat, there is still a lot to do. However, it’s all jot gloomy. The club, in a long time, managed to set up an office with a Chief Executive Officer, who runs the club affairs on day to day basis. However, reports from within the club have hinted to interference from the clubs National Executive Committee on a couple of issues.
Also keen to note, the club has for an entire year witnessed zero leadership wrangles and court battles, as was the case in previous administrations. In a previous interview with Kenyanstar, the club CEO noted that it was a great milestone for the club to get over the many wrangles that affected and crippled them in previous years.
One year on, there are loud murmurs of discontent in the Den. There seems to be a future that no one is certain of. The biggest fear has always been relegation, and that could happen if Leopards do not up their game. Majority of Dan Mule’s promises to the Leopards are yet to be fulfilled, leave alone initiated.
Is Dan Mule living up to expectations? Is he setting up himself, his administration and the club for another spectacular failure? Well, the jury is still out there…