Football Kenya Federation elections will finally take place, almost five months after its initial date.
Seventy seven delegates will be at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani to cast their votes on Wednesday in what is expected to be a very closely contested race for the presidency of the federation.
Incumbent Sam Nyamweya, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier and Kariobangi Sharks chairman Nick Mwendwa are the front runners in the elections after engaging in a series of campaigns countrywide. There are also former internationals Sammy Sholei, Dan Shikanda and former AFC Leopards factional chairman Ssemi Aina in the race.
Dimbasports.com looks into the chances of the three top candidates winning the elections.
Having served as the incumbent Sam Nyamweya cannot be wished away in this race though in the eyes of the public, he had already been sent to the guillotine long before the election date.
Nyameya has managed a federation where most things never went his way and his public admission of failure by some of his lieutenants was a strong message in itself that so much had not worked well.
“I trusted these people with the work of delivering services to Kenyans but failed to perform and they are now masquerading as big critics of FKF and myself as Sam Nyamweya.
“As a leader, I am taking full responsibility for their failures and I am appealing to football stakeholders to give me another chance as President of FKF for another term so that I can clean up the mess caused by the said individuals, who failed in their responsibilities.”
Perhaps the last straw against Nyamweya was the way the Harambee Stars trip to Cape Verde was managed. The confusion between the government and the federation led to the national team arriving for the game just hours before kick off.
It will be difficult to identify positives in the last five years. Even though Kenya won the Cecafa Senior Challenge cup in 2013, the organization was shambolic and teams were detained in hotels over unpaid bills.
That notwithstanding, Nyamweya, a never say die man who has also previously served as the secretary general of the federation controls a sizeable chunk of votes which may sway in his favour should the others share the votes.
The Gor Mahia chairman will be taking a second stab at the presidency after failing miserably in the previous elections.
Once again Rachier is being backed by the Kenyan Premier League who have never been comfortable with a Sam Nyamweya leadership.
Curiously though, it is emerging that some of Nyamweya’s ardent followers are keen to work with the Gor Mahia chairman should Nyamweya opt out of the race, which they see as a possibility.
A group of delegates from the Nyamweya camp are said to have held a meeting with Rachier recently and offered to back him in the race.
“We remain firmly behind Nyamweya but in every elections you have to look at Plan B,” said Mohammed Omar who is the coast NEC member.
Rachier looks stronger this time than the previous elections where he seemed lost in the campaigns. He has managed to rally support from several regions and the backing he may receive from the Nyamweya camp will tremendously sway the dice to his favour.
However Rachier’s critics do not believe he can do any better at the federation despite turning around the fortunes of Gor Mahia and taking it back to glory days.
Save for the club returning to the top, many say Rachier has failed to professioanlise the club which has the largest following in the country.
Gor Mahia still operates as it was in the sixties and seventies, has not training ground nor its own stadium despite land being donated to the club in the eighties by former President Daniel Moi.
However, with the backing of more than half of the KPL clubs, Rachier has some confidence he can become the FKF boss.
At 33, Nick Mwendwa is the youngest ever candidate for the federation presidency.
A hyperactive chap, Mwendwa started campaigning for the position after falling out with the Nyamweya team .
Mwendwa who lost in the previous elections where he had vied to be the Nairobi NEC representative in the elections has managed to marshal some support especially the younger generation who see him representing change.
Financially he has also been able to line the pockets of his campaign team which has been active both on social media and in football events across the country.
Before Rachier announced his candidacy, Nick was seen as the alternative to Nyamweya, but the entry of Rachier threw his campaigns off balance as it meant he had lost the 16 votes from the KPL clubs.
But he has continued to campaign with confidence and yesterday he announced that the time had come.
“The time has come. Lets prove we are the change,” he said.
The three are the front runners, but there is also Sam Sholei and Dan Shikanda, two former internationals who also want to become federation presidents.
Sholei’s best chance was in the last elections where he was the front runner until he opted to support Mohammed Hussein.
While Sholei got the most votes countrywide, his candidate for chairmanship-Hussein Mohammed performed miserably leaving Sholei very exposed and having to work with the man he had vowed never to share a table with-Sam Nyamweya.
The ripple effect was that Sholei was suspended just months after being elected and over the period he has lost out in the race.
Shikanda who was Nairobi branch chairman was also suspended alongside Sholei and their candidacy is seen more of an anti Nyamweya campaign rather than a serious stab at the presidency.