FKF seeks to stop SDT from ruling in contempt case


Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa (left) and CEO Barry Otieno during a press conference at La Mada Hotel, Nairobi, on November 11, 2021, during the height of their legal battles with the government.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • FKF have maintained they were allowed back into office via an announcement by the Sports Cabinet Secretary.
  • The government has already informed Mwendwa in writing that he is not eligible to vie for a third term in office.

 Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has moved to the High Court seeking orders to have the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) blocked from delivering a judgment on a contempt case against the federation’s top leadership.

In the case filed at the Kiambu Law Courts on Monday, FKF, its president Nick Mwendwa, 45, General Secretary Barry Otieno, and 11 others, have, among other prayers, asked the court to quash an earlier ruling by the Sports Dispute Tribunal that removal of the FKF officials from office in 2021 stopped them from acting in anyway on behalf of the federation.

The federation also wants any proceedings and decisions arising from that ruling to also be quashed. The Tribunal is set to make a judgment on the contempt case on Tuesday.

The case was filed by sports journalist Milton Nyakundi who questioned why FKF continued to operate and even draw funding from the government and other organisation even after the sports body was disbanded by the Sports Cabinet Secretary then, Amina Mohamed, in 2021.

The scribe further says, in his court papers, that a High Court ruled in July, 2022, that Amina was within her legal powers in disbanding FKF.

Nyakundi further prayed that FKF officials be jailed for six months and fined for contempt, and, upon release, barred from accessing the FKF offices and bank accounts.

Lady Justice Hedgwig Ong’udi, who delivered the ruling two years ago, said that FKF’s move to challenge Amina’s decision “lacked merit.” “FKF is subject to the Constitution of Kenya, the Sports Act, and all laws of Kenya.

“The Cabinet Secretary acted within her mandate under the Sports Act to appoint the FKF Caretaker Committee (after disbanding FKF). FKF were accorded an opportunity to be heard and the Inspection Report (by the government) was carried out by the law,” the court ruled.

FKF, though, have maintained they were allowed back into office via an announcement by Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba after his appointment in October, 2022.

FKF’s attempt block the SDT from hearing and determining the case is certain to raise eyebrows considering the federation is bound by the Sports Act to have its disputes mediated at the Sports Tribunal.

Indeed, several cases involving the federation have been handled at the Tribunal over the past decade.

The move by FKF could also attract the attention of the world governing body Fifa, which has continuously advocated for its member associations to keep sporting disputes out of civil courts.

The development comes a week before FKF holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) where the rules determining the forthcoming elections will be discussed and determined.

The government, through Sports Registrar Rose Wasike, has already informed Mwendwa in writing that he is not eligible to vie for a third term in office.

Doris Petra, Mwendwa’s deputy at FKF for the last eight years, has also been barred from contesting on the grounds that she has served two four-year terms in accordance with the Sports Act.

While Mwendwa has not publicly declared his candidature, Petra affirmed she would be defending her seat and dared her opponents to meet her at the ballot.