Sunday, February 27, 2011

Post Match: Tusker FC

Leopards began the 2011 Premier League campaign with a 2-0 away loss to Tusker FC at the Nyayo National Stadium. Both goals were scored by former Leopards old boy Dennis Mukaisi in the second half.

Video highlights here

Line up: Tiema, Shamalla, Milimo, Imbalambala, Muyoti, Cokie, Selenga, Wandera (Seda 58'), Tumba (Tostao 71'), Kinjie (Hugo 71), Aluvisia.


Tiema:         Made a few saves but then it got into his head that he was the star of the show. Responsible for the howler in the 41st minute that Imbalambala cleared on the line. His positioning for the second goal was terrible and misjudged the run by Mukaisi.  Rating 3/10

Shamalla:      Had more than five bad touches in the first half alone. Appeared lethargic and didn’t give confidence to the defensive line at all. Was caught ball watching in the second half. Rating 4/10   

Milimu:         Part of the shaky defensive play offered by the team today. Rating 4/10

Imbalambala: Was present in the match through out. Saved the blushes of the team when he cleared from the line. Didn’t get to use his height in the set pieces as the team created few setpieces. In the first half alone, the team had not a single corner. Rating 7/10

Muyoti:        Captain for the day and his experience showed. Lacked the pace at times but his touch was assured. Got into a goal scoring opportunity and almost scored. Rating 5/10

Cokie:          Four words. Could have done better. Rating 4/10

Selenga:       Had an absolutely gutless performance and this may not be entirely his fault He was starved of service in the first half and even dropped back into midfield to collect the ball. However, his touches and shots in the second half when he got service were extremely un-Demonde like. Wasted opportunities with either feeble shots or skying his shots. Rating 4/10

Wandera:      Felt lost at some points of the match. Was the first one to be subbed before the hour mark. Rating 3/10

Tumba:        Was hasty in his play and broke the rhythm of the Leopards in the first half when Leopards enjoyed a superior possession than Tusker. Needs to get on target frequently. Rating 4/10

Kinjie:         Had a slow game. He had no greater interest in winning the ball or chasing down the ball as his opponents. Rating 5/10

Aluvisia:       Anonymous for most of the game. No combination with the other players. Rating 4/10

video


The KPL website reports:

Tusker 2 AFC Leopards 0

Since moving from AFC Leopards the previous season, Dennis Mukaisi's stay at Tusker has been marked by promise rather than delivery as a striker. But the new season got off perfectly for him with two well executed goals.

First in the 64th minute he capitalised from a quick free-kick before outpacing defender Martin Imbalambala shooting low past an advancing Barnabas Tiema in Leopards goal.

Mukaisi was again put through on the right flank by Paul Were to shoot from a narrow ago and beat Tiema in the 75th minute.

There would have been a hat-trick for Mukaisi. In the 42nd minute he had lobbed over Tiema but Imbalambala ran back managing to scramble the ball of the line.

But overall it was a poor game from both teams. Wasteful passing was the hallmark. But the worst were Leopards who did not have a single player who could calm down, caring about possession.

The amount of time players hurled bodies at each other, spending a lot of time on the floor, was incredible.

Imaginative passing was rare, nervousness or utter panic being the reaction of Leopards nid-fielders and forwards most notably Evans Wandera and Dimonde Selenga.

And a frustrated coach Robert Bollen seemed to have been painfully taking in every bit of this at the touchline.

Still, Tusker coach Sammy Omollo said: "My players showed character and determination. Leopards had the supporters. This is a good start for us and we hope to continue with the same spirit”.

TEAMS:-
TUSKER - 1. Boniface Oluoch: 17. Noah Abich, 28.Isaac Otieno,18. Joseph Shikokoti, 5. Jockins Atudo, 22. Maurice Odipo (13. Frederick Ojwang', 50'), 12. Japhery Oyando (captain), 21. Victor Ali Abondo (14. Paul Were, 55'),10. Dennis Mukaisi ,11. Joseph Emeka, 24.Levi Muaka (6. Crispin Olando, 65')
Reserves not used - 29. Duncan Ochieng', 15. Humphrey Okoti, 3. Moses Odhiambo, 9. George Midenyo
Scorer - 10 .Dennis Mukaisi 64', 75')
Coach - Sammy Omollo
AFC LEOPARDS - 19. Barnabas Tiema: 33. John Shamala,15. Milton Milimo, 4. Martin Imbalambala, 6. Nicholas Muyoti (captain), 23. Abraham Cokie, 17. Demonde Selenga,16. Evans Wandera (2. David Seda, 51'), 8. Laurent Tumba (9. Hugo Nzoka, 73'), 18. Salim Kinje (21. Emmanuel Tostao, 72'), 14. Silas Aluvisia
Reserves not used - 1. Patrick Matasi, 3. John Amboko,12. Augustine Etemesi, 20.Abdul Shaban, 5. Edward Wafula, 22.Bernard Magoli
Coach - Robert Bollen

The Standard had a back page full story

 

By Robin Toskin

Tusker ensured Mumias Sugar-sponsored AFC Leopards would not have a sweet start to the 2011 Kenyan Premier League campaign with 2-0 win at Nyayo Stadium.

It was left to former AFC Leopards striker Dennis Mukaisi to do an inside job, which he did with gusto, netting a brace. 

The double brought to three goals the number of goals Mukaisi has scored against Leopards, the other coming in the 4-2 skinning of Ingwe last season in Mumias.

"The goals will motivate me going forward. I hope to banish the frustration of last season," Mukaisi said after the match.

Leopards will be grateful for some sterling individual performance of veteran Nicholas Muyoti and goalkeeper Barnabas Tiema for keeping the score line respectable.

After Liberian Abraham Cokie lashed at the upright with a speculative 30-yard shot in the eighth minute, Leopards’ challenge fizzled, allowing Tusker exert their influence.


Mukaisi charged down on goal only to find Muyoti in resolute mind with a vital block on 28 minutes. Wearing the captain’s armband on his return to the side he led to the Moi Golden Cup at the turn of last decade, Muyoti displayed leadership quality Leopards have lacked in recent months.

But when his defence was breached, Tusker found an alert Tiema as was in the 70th minute when he kept out Fred Ojwang’s flying header from close range.

However, there was little he could do in the 65th minute when Mukaisi peeled away from Martin Imbalambala on the left flank following a quick free-kick.

Mukaisi showed composure to slide in under the advancing Tiema. It was a costly positioning of the Leopards defenders despite a stern warning in the 41st minute when the former St Anthony Kitale raced through the heart of the back four to loop the ball over Tiema, only for Imbalambala to hoof it away on the goal line.

Leopards struggled to craft a response, but Tusker needed no second invitation when Mukaisi’s cross- shot fizzed through Tiema’s near post to cap a winning start for coach Sammy Omollo.

"It is an encourage result, but I think Leopards gave a good account of themselves since we did not have an easy game," Omollo said.

Leopards’ coach Robert Bollen insisted it was not a bad performance despite his forwards Demonde Selenga and Laurent Tumba time and again coming unstuck against an organised Tusker defence.

Leopards face Gor Mahia’s conquerors Rangers FC next weekend, needing victory to keep on the boil ambitions of their faithful.

Whilst the Nation kept it short:-

Former AFC Leopards star Dennis Mukaisi returned to haunt his former club as ‘Ingwe’ fell 2-0 to Tusker in the Kenyan Premier League on Sunday.


PosTeamPWDLGFGAGDPts
1Rangers11003033
2Tusker11002023
3Chemelil Sugar11002113
4Sofapaka11002113
5Karuturi Sports11001013
6Western Stima11001013
7Congo United10101101
8Sony Sugar10101101
9Thika United00000000
10Ulinzi Stars00000000
11Bandari100112-10
12Mathare United100112-10
13City Stars100101-10
14KCB100101-10
15AFC Leopards100102-20
16Gor Mahia100103-30

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pre Match: Tusker FC


It is that time again when every Tom, Harry and Carol makes a prediction about the results of the match.

It is not easy to get the form book as the Leopards are fielding an almost entirely new team but the record in the KPL opening fixtures hasn't been good. In the 2009 opening game, Leopards lost the match in the Board Room when it was awarded to City Stars on a 2-0 basis whilst in the 2010 opening game, Leopards lost 2-0 to KCB.

For this reason perhaps, Carol Radul thinks the opening match in 2011 will also be lost on a 2-0 basis.


Supersport.com on the other hand, also hand Leopards a loss though they credit Leopards with a goal.

Tusker v AFC Leopards (National Stadium, 5pm “live” on SuperSport 9)
Supersport.com Prediction: 2-1

Last season closed with Tusker drubbing Leopards 3-0. The Brewers would love a repeat. But it hurt Leopards so much that a dream start to the new season -- an upset win over Tusker -- would wipe away the pain.

It could happen. But maybe Leopards are embroiled in too many distractions and misadministration to be at their absolute best for such a big match.

A tame draw like the 0-0 one of last season’s first leg would have been possible. But Tusker coach, Sam Omollo, because he was brought in presumably for more success than James Nandwa last season, is compelled to produce results.

Like Omollo, Levy Muaka the new midfield man from City Stars will be under scrutiny over his high rating.

Do not, however, count Leopards out. The ball could bounce well, enough to repay the usually the hard work of Leopards men such as [Demonde] Selenga Mangili, Itubu Imbem and Joseph Okumu. And what will Brian Masiolo bring in from Western Stima? 

The Brewers, nevertheless, have so much stability that you could only hope to catch them off guard on a bad day. Joseph Emeka, Victor Ali Abondo, Japhery Oyando, Noah Abich, Jockins Atudo, Fred Ajwang’, Joseph Shikokoti, Chris Pitsaw…such a familiar line-up.

The third prediction is from Kenyanstar and they hand Leopards a1-0 win.

Heads are set to roll on Sunday evening if by any chance Leopards players are to deliver their fans’ expectations. The leopards are tied up in a tough fixture against last season’s third place finishers Tusker FC and fans have made it clear that 0 points in the first match is not an option.

Leopards recent past with Tusker has not been very good with a goalless draw in the first leg of the 2010 season being the best result in the last four meetings. In 2009, the brewers sank the leopards home and away 3-1 and 4-1 respectively. In the second leg of the 2010 season, Leopards suffered a humiliating 4-2 defeat in the backyard of their new sponsors Mumius Sugar at the Mumias complex.

Tuskers habit of hunting from the leopards’ den further dents the relationship of the two sides. Some of its greatest players over the years have been poached from the den including Musa Otieno, Patrick Oboya, Collins Kisuya, Oscar Kadenge and very recently Dennis Mukaisi.

On the other hand, Leopard’s attempts to pull a quick one and bring home Paul Were from Ruaraka based Tusker went up in flames with Leopard’s former chairman Julius Ochiel blaming it wrangles that had bedevilled the team.

The Sunday encounter will be undoubtedly a battle of jumbo proportions with a win being top priority for every team. Tusker’s new Coach Sammy Omollo will be keen to prove to his employers that he is a worthy replacement of coach James Nandwa. And he won't do that by losing to a team that finished the league in 12th position.

For the men from the den, they have an uphill task of upholding the new found pride zeal and energy of their fans. If the preseason activities by the leopards fans is anything to go by then their team will never walk alone. The fans successfully managed to execute a tough schedule of a CSR, Player welfare fund raiser and have been relentlessly agitating for accountability in the club’s top leadership.

Tusker are likely to adopt an offensive play with Paul were and a former leopard Dennis mukaisi doing the damage upfront. Lifting the ball over the midfield and denying it the leopards should be their biggest strength.

The leopards seem to have joined Sofapaka and Mathare united as Kenya’s master of sleek passing free flowing football. A win in the midfield war could translate to a win for leopards. Experince of Captain Nicholas Muyoti will be expected to come handy against Tuskers’ heavy midfield. Liberian Ibraham Cockie and youngster Bernard Mang’oli are highly poised to deliver the killer passes.

Hit man Demonde selenge and Ingwe’s most expensive player this season Brian masiolo should not disappoint in front of goal.

Prediction: AFC Leopards 1-0 Tusker FC 


Friday, February 25, 2011

Interim Board 4 Ochiel 3



With the League kicking off in the next few days, it is time to acquaint ourselves with scores. And especially the scores in the other board room game that is taking place at the club that is Ours Forever.

First Goal

The Interim Board moved swiftly to allay fears that it will be seeking to be in office for a long time (as long as 60 days) when it quickly announced that the elections will be held on 6th March 2011. In a statement that has been released to the general public and covered in the daily newspapers as well as the www.afcleopards.net  website, the Interim Board stated as follows:-

The Board appointed  on 23rd February 2011 by Hon Dr. Paul N. Otuoma, EGH, MP, Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, to manage AFC Leopards Sports Club in the interim and to organize their repeat elections, met today, the 24th of February 2011, and determined the following;
1.  That the Commissioner of Sports, Mr. Gordon Oluoch, temporary hold the position of Board Chairman.
2.  That the representative of Kenya National Sports Council, Mr. Henry Shihemi holds the position of secretary to the Board.
3.  That the aborted elections of the club be repeated in a Special General Meeting (SGM)  on Sunday, 6th of March 2011 at Nyayo National Stadium from 7am to 12 noon.
4.  That only the candidates who had been cleared to vie for positions by 10th February 2011, and only members duly registered by the same date, will be eligible to participate as candidates and members respectively.
5.  That the members’ registers will be available for verification from Monday 28th February 2011 to Wednesday 2nd March 2011, at designated member registration centers countrywide.
6.  That candidates wishing to withdraw their candidature may do so in writing to reach the Chairman by 4pm, Monday 28th February 2011.There will be no swooping of positions nor refund of monies paid to the board.
7.   That the Board formed a four-member Player Welfare Sub-Committee to look into the welfare needs of the playing and technical units during the life of the Board. The sub-committee is headed by Dr. Dan Shikanda and has in its membership Joram Ondere, Charles Bukeko and Fred Nasiche.
8.  That the Board wishes the team the success in its opening Premier League match on Sunday 27th February 2011 at Nyayo National Stadium.
          Regards,
Chairman of the Board, Commissioner Gordon Oluoch, 0722530444

In effect, this decision of the Interim Board resonates well with those who feel that they should not be in office as they have clearly stated that they want to hand over the reigns of the office to someone who is duly elected.

This is a plus against Julius Ochiel and his group who have come across as pussyfooting because they have upto and including today not announced when the elections will be actually held or if they have, they have indicated merely tentatively that the elections will be held in mid season which will be mid July. Walji was quoted as saying

Regarding the aborted club elections, Walji said the next exercise must be supervised by the Electoral commission of Kenya (ECK).He said the Electoral Board chaired by Sports Commissioner Gordon Oluoch failed in their mandate adding that Kenyans and the entire  AFC Leopards fraternity had lost confidence with them.

‘It was total shame. Apart from their inability to supervise the exercise, the gates at the Nairobi Railway club were brought down. We did a favor to Oluoch team but they failed to discharge their duties since they did not provide adequate security. They totally flopped and that is why I suggest ECK to take charge in the forthcoming election exercise” Observed Walji.

{ECK? LMAO! Maybe he means its successor the IIEC}

In that respect, Ochiel wishes to extend his tenure by a whopping approximately 150 days from the date of the aborted elections yet the Interim Board is limiting its tenure to about 10 days from the date of appointment.

In terms of holding on to power not derived from the members of the club, then Ochiel loses this score and the goal is awarded to the Interim Board.

Second Goal

The second goal is in respect of flow of information. The Ochiel group has been reported to be having numerous meetings but unfortunately, no one gets to know the results of those meetings. Ochiel has been quoted in the print and electronic media, sans the official website, as having written to the Attorney General.

The team has at its disposal the website www.afcleopards.co.ke  yet the website is one of the most dormant and inactive websites that members of the club could follow.

The website has maintained a blackout over the aborted elections and has not even mentioned a single decision taken. N fact, even the appointment of the Electroral Board was never mentioned on the website; the decrease of membership fees was also not mentioned; Ochiel’s reaction to the elections was not made public.

On the other hand, the Interim Board has been active and made its decisions quickly and public.

Goal to Interim Board and boo to secrecy that sorrounds the Ochiel group.

Third Goal

Ochiel has been quoted as having received backing from the FKL which runs football in Kenya and is recognized by FIFA to the chagrin of many in the football fraternity in Kenya. Therefore its credibility levels are quite low.

FKL will also be undergoing elections and perhaps it may not be in their interest to ruffle any feathers, especially those of the Minister.

In any event, FKL does not run the league but KPL does and thus the ultimate recognition should be coming from KPL who will determine whom it will be dealing with.
However, on a balance of probabilities, this could be Ochiel’s score as having the backing of the association (or company noting that FKL is a company) to which Leopards is affiliated may be advantageous however bad it looks.

2-1.

Fourth Goal

This involves actual running of the team. The Ochiel team seems to still be in charge and in fact, the treasurer was quoted as saying the team replica jerseys are on sale at the designated shop in the Central Business District.

Photo Credit: Fredrick Lutta FB Branch

This is reflected in the interview reported on Michezo Afrika and the except reads:-

The 2011 AFC Leopards (Ingwe) replica T-shirts are now available to the club fans ,the club treasurer Amin Walji Junior has disclosed. The Adidas branded T-shirts were described by Walji as of high quality that can be compared to none. The merchandise arrived on Wednesday from overseas.Walji said the T-shirts will be sold  at  Shop number 11 located  at Nairobi’s  Imenti House that is situated opposite Nairobi Sports  House. Owing to its high quality and shipping Charges, Walji said  they will be retailing  at Shs.1,500. The Imenti Shop will be the exclusive outlet for all Afc Leopards’ merchandise in Nairobi. He pointed out that arrangements are being made to have the club merchandise available in other parts of the country as well.

To this effect, it appears that the Ochiel group still has control of the team (key word APPEARS) and no one is stopping it from carrying out its functions. If the Interim Board was in charge of the team, they would have for instance gone ahead and warned the Ochiel group from masquerading as officials and taken over the team. But to the extent that the Interim Board has not been able to do that, then Ochiel seems to score this goal, though it could be an offside goal depending on what you read next.

Its 2-2.

Fifth Goal

Mumias Sugar, the shirt sponsors of Leopards (or the player’s sponsors as they said they are) have come out in support of the Interim Board.



The Interim Board leads 3-2!

How silly it must look for Ochiel’s group to score the equalizing goal above by launching the shirt that has MUMIAS SUGAR on the chest only for Mumias Sugar to come out and say: These fellows who are launching our shirts, we do not recognize them!

It is a serious setback to the Ochiel group since they are deriving most of their financing from the sponsor and without any form of recognition, then the sponsor can move its supply to the Interim Board or to the Board that is elected.

That will be a determinant of the potential dilemma that Ochiel will face. If he boycott’s the 6th March 2011 elections, he will have to go back to court to get some form of recognition since Mumias Sugar will seemingly back the winners of that election. 

If he participates in the elections, then he will be acknowledging that the Interim Board is the one that is in office.

And if he goes to court to challenge the elections, he will be going against the wishes of his sponsors. That is Ochiels headache. As for Ingwe Fan, the goal is credited to the Interim Board.

Sixth Goal

The Interim Chairman of AFC Leopards according to the Interim Board is Gordon Oluoch? Come on! That is an own goal by the Interim Board. First, his name starts with the word ‘Gor’. Enough said. Or maybe not. You could read some criticism about him here.

Its 3-3!

Seventh Goal

Whilst everybody is consumed in this soap opera at Leopards, there are news that filtered in that some of the players that have been signed by Leopards may be barred from playing in the League that starts this weekend.



The story is carried out in the Standard here

Excerpts:-
KPL CEO Jack Oguda confirmed having received the complaint on the players and were sorting it out with Leopards. "We have asked the club and JMJ to furnish us with certain documents to help us get to the bottom of the matter. "For now, we may not allow the players to feature for their club until the matter is resolved," he said. Last season, the Academy rented out 12 players to Leopards who were supposed to go back last season and the latest row has erupted because the five remained at ‘Ingwe’ without JMJ’s permission. The players include Samuel Mwangi, Bernard Mangoli, Douglas Okumu, Milimo Milton and Edwin Simiyu Wafula

If this turns out to be true, then it will show the general incompetence of the office of Ochiel as the dispute ought to have been settled way before the League kicks off. This will go down as an Own Goal against Ochiel as it will be a demonstration of serious goofing.

4-3.

It is still the 60th minute and the Ochiel group could pull a surprise. If they do not rally to equalize and go ahead, then their goose is cooked. The law can be on your side but if the people are not on your side, then whom would you be purporting to lead if the leadership position is for leading the people. And if your sponsors also run away from you, you have to make up your mind fast. Because we may son be going into the last minutes of the game. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Groping In The Dark



After the aborted elections for the Executive Committee of AFC Leopards SC, there has been anxiety and uncertainty amongst the fans of the club as regards the officials of the team.

Some fans have resorted to desperate measures and have ventilated enough about the issue with some calling upon the ‘sponsors’ of the team to appoint an interim board whilst others have threatened to take over the team. Mumias Sugar, the shirt sponsors of Leopards, has weighed in with the announcement that ‘the team is the players’ and vowed to soldier on supporting the team… er, we mean... the players.

Despite the romantic view taken by Mumias Sugar, Leopards is still a society that is duly registered by the Registrar of Societies. 


The club is made up of three main components: the members of the club (who are mostly fans of the team and who by recent recruitment figures may well be over 10,000 in number); the officials of the team, who exercise their functions on a delegated basis by the members; and theplaying unit at the time who may not owe any loyalty to the team and may come and go and have a sometimes strictly employment relationship with the club.
 
Some people call this relationship a tri-partite or holy trinity. This trinity is made up of the body of the club being the members, the mind of the club being the officials and the soul of the team being the players.

Now, Mumias Sugar has come in to support the team (or the club as the case may be) and in so doing is actually supporting AFC Leopards SC and not merely the playing unit, despite the fact that most of the recurrent expenditure involves the players. To this extent, one may say that the Sponsors of the team may well be the fourth component of the team, but this has no measure of permanency and they can replaced if another better offer comes through for sponsorship or they may be joined by other co-sponsors.

Unfortunately, some members of the club, have elevated the issue of officials of the team to as fetish and made it the number one priority in the way people look at the club. This is part of reason that there has been a clamour for elections by the fans or mere change of officials without any proper structures being put in place first. The obsession with one wing of the club has continued to give the club bad publicity with some people indicating that the club is in turmoil.

Some journalists have joined the band wagon and even insinuated that the wrangles at Leopards are due to the fact that Mumias Sugar has come on board with a 15 million shillings per year sponsorship deal and the persons contesting the elections are merely itching to control these funds. Clay Muganda stated in the article:-

We make so much noise about lack of corporate sponsorship, and when clubs get money; like in the case of AFC Leopards, which has received Sh15 million from Mumias Sugar, the problems only increase, and the purpose for which the funding was meant gets forgotten as people fight over the money.

Ingwe Fan has always insisted that none of the three persons who have been fighting for the post of Chair at Leopards meet the threshold to be made Chair of this very decorated club. To be an official at Leopards should be a great honour to any fan of Leopards. And this should always be a chance to serve the club rather than a title to use to pander to political wet dreams or to lord over people with quite unpopular ideas.

Honour and integrity should be a cornerstone of service to the club. In 1991, Alfred Sambu for instance resigned as Chairman only a day after being elected to protest the election of someone who was elected as Secretary General with him. (Wafula wa Musamia) How many of the current crop of Leopards aspirants for Chair have the decency to offer a resignation if they feel that their conscience will not allow them to serve the team well in the circumstances?

Amidst the confusion that has reigned at the Officials wing of the Leopards, a myriad of solutions have up some mooted by some members, hopefully in good faith, to cool the tempers at the Club.

One of the solutions was the call by members for the sponsors to appoint an Interim Board to run the club until elections are held. This solution is informed by the understanding that on 13th February 2011, when the club was scheduled to hold elections, the offices of the Executive Committee were declared vacant and since no election took place, those offices remain unfilled and vacant. On the contrary, some people argue that nature abhors a vacuum and it would not be fit for a club like Leopards to have a moment of an interregnum. This argument therefore goes that since the elections were not held, the office that was in place should remain in office and strive to hold elections at the earliest possible opportunity. In essence, until elections are held, the last office before the call for elections continues to hold the positions as they have not been replaced.

Back to the solution of Mumias Sugar appointing an Interim Board. Whilst this is a rather attractive solution, it is on the principle of independence of the club quite unacceptable as it cedes power from the members to the fourth clog in the wheel, the sponsors. This club is AFC Leopards SC and not Mumias Sugar FC. Mumias Sugar are not the owners of the team in the same vein New England Sports Venture are owners of Liverpool FC. They are just partners of Leopards. They pay Leopards sponsorship money not as a donation but with something in return. For instance, Leopards fans will become walking advertisement boards for Mumias Sugar is they buy merchandise with the Mumias Sugar logo on it. So the monies spoken about of 15 million shillings per annum are merely the pecuniary compensation Mumias Sugar gives to Leopards for the privilege to associate itself with the club. The value of such a privilege can be argued about since Leopards, despite having a huge following, has been under performing in the league and its value may probably be quite low and not warranting a sum of 15 million shillings per annum. But the marketing persons at Mumias Sugar must have done their homework and sponsoring Leopards makes sense. Mumias Sugar gets to appears on Leopards shirts in matches to be televised across Africa and to have photos imprinted with their logo appearing in the newspapers. It makes sense to sponsor Leopards that one of the teams without fans in the League such as Sofapaka or KCB. In fact, some of the teams such as our rivals Gor Mahia have not been having any dispute of officials, yet they remain sponsorless! If Leopards wins the League this year,  as Ingwe Fan hopes they do, that is a great bonus for Mumias Sugar. But at best, Mumias Sugar has made a business decision and with its roots in Western Kenya, reconnects with the most loved club in that part of the country where both brands, Leopards and Mumias Sugar have a nation wide appeal. Mumias Sugar should not risk any interference with internal dynamics of the club by taking an active role in the administration woes.

Perish the thought too that Mumias Sugar should be manning the additional revenue collection avenues at the club such as matchday gate collections. Any Leopards member may actually challenge such an arrangement if it sidesteps the persons delegated to handle matters on behalf of the members, despite their seemingly expired mandate but without forgetting the ‘no interregnum’ argument.

The other solution to the leadership crisis has been proposed by the Electoral Board after the aborted elections in which they suggested that an Interim Board be appointed (not clear by whom) to run the affairs of the team. Firstly, this Interim Board was an illegal body cobbled up on the prodding of the sponsors solely with the intention of holding the elections without giving the incumbent Julius Ochiel an unfair advantage of organizing elections and taking part in the same. As a stop gap measure, this Electoral Board was an absolute flop and made very questionable decisions that we have discussed previously.

Amongst its many sins, the Electoral Board that had three members with vested interests and representing the three persons vying for the Chairman’s position (how this was determined before the close of nominations just goes to show part of the Boards illegality. What if a fourth candidate had emerged for the post of Chairman and demanded that he or she appoints someone to sit on the Board too!). They were not clear on whether they were registering voters for the elections or members of the club. It was much like seeing the IIEC giving people National Identity cards! The registration of voters/members was to close on Thursday the 10th February 2011 for an election that was scheduled to take place on 13th February 2011! To use an oft quoted phrase, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to realize that preparing a voter register that could be perused in time was never going to be possible in the two days before the election. Even more scandalous were the reports that some candidates were registering voters/members on the date of the election.



To expect this bungling Electoral Board to nominate a credible Interim Committee  or to convert itself into the Interim Committee is a joke worth gracing a comedy show such as Churchill Live.

Hopefully next time members wish to organize an Election, they would actually ask people who are either members of the team or who have experience in overseeing an election such as the IIEC and not the Gordon Oluoch’s of this world.

No persons have been arrested for disrupting the Elections and it is not even clear if a report was made to police on this. Surely this Board had an opportunity to do something credible but they ended up messing big time on an election that was eagerly awaited by fans. When people hear about Leopards, the images they have are these scenes.








Actually, this piece deserves a full mention of the photo accompanying the story.







The third solution is to seek the Registrar of Societies interpretation of the state of affairs which will ultimately lead to the reading of the current Leopards constitution. It is apparent that Ochiel wrote to the Registrar and made presentations on the aborted elections. It is not clear whether Winstone Kituyi or Alex Ole Magelo wrote to the Registrar too.



The Registrar would have given directions in writing on what the next steps should be in terms of the expired term of Ochiel and how soon the next elections should be held.

It is not lost on observers that the Registrar is the one who had ordered that elections be held in the first place and within fourty five days so the Registrar could be blamed for exerting pressure for the club to hold elections when it clearly had no capacity to do so as has been proven the last two times elections have been attempted.

Anybody who looks at how the Barcelona FC elections for the Presidency were conducted, and there is a blow by blow account of the whole process on this blog will realise that what Leopards had on 13th February 2011 was just another fraudulent exercise that couldnt even achieve ballot papers such as this one here:-


Credit: http://barcaelections2010.blogspot.com/

The fourth solution seems to have taken place recently and it involved Leopards seeking directions from Football Kenya Limited, which is the ruling body for soccer in Kenya. From the press reports such as the report carried out in the Saturday Nation Football Kenya encouraged the set of officials who were elected in the last elections to be in office until the elections are held some time later in the middle of the year when the League is on recess.



The last returns for the last Leopards elections recognized by the Registrar of Societies were as follows:-



By this action, Robert Asembo and other sidelined officials such as Peter Lichungu seemingly made a comeback to the Executive Committee. 

It is not clear what the FKL was quoted as saying about the fact that teams are not allowed to hold elections during the course of the season. This solution is not attractive to some fans who feel that the Officials are extending their tenure in office and may be the ones who influenced the disruption of last elections.

The fifth solution to resolve the elections fiasco was a call by some members to the Minister in Charge of Sports to appoint an Interim Board to run the affairs of the club. There is no basis for this argument and in fact, it smirks of desperate measures by members of the club who seem to be helpless and are asking for assistance from other sources.

Leopards as a society is affiliated to the Football Kenya Limited, the ruling body of local soccer. It is not afflicted to the Minister of Sports. As a society, it falls under the Attorney General’s chambers and under the Societies Act, reference to the Minister is indicated as reference to the Attorney General. In fact, all regulations made under this Act have been made by the Attorney General. The Minister for Sports would therefore be merely exercising ex cathedra powers were he to make any orders in respect of the elections at Leopards. It is much like expecting the Minister to rule in respect of a dispute arising from leadership wrangles at Busia United or at (Posta) Rangers whose dispute has also hit the press.

Members should look at ways in which to empower themselves instead of seeking desperate measures that border on illegalities all for the purpose of making short term ambitions come true.

Any member of the team and moreso the incumbent Chair will be within their rights to rush to court to quash the decision of the Minister, in the event it is not as a result of the recommendation by the Registrar of Societies. And if the Minister is taken to court, the person to represent him is the Attorney General! And just like recently when the President was sued over the legality of his decision, this may turn out to be a case where someone says: Is it the Minister of the Attorney General who has powers to take the decision he makes. It is a no brainer what the answer by the Attorney General will be. If the Minister takes decision because he hails from Western Kenya, oh well, so does the Attorney General anyway and that cannot be the reason for him to take a decision and leave out the dispute in (Posta) Rangers.

In any event, this is a Minister who should by now have released the report on the state of the stadia in Kenya where fans died at the Leopards and Gor Mahia stampede in October 2010 including a known Leopards fan. Nothing has been heard about the measures for the stadia improvement ahead of the opening rounds of the League this weekend when it is common knowledge that the recess has been on for almost two whole months and could have been used to improve the stadia.

 
The Minister for Sports has appointed persons to join the Board (it is not clear whether it is the Executive Committee or the Electoral Board). The persons appointed are Dan Shikanda, Charles Bukeko, Lydia Obwaka, Fredrick Nasiche and Benard Wamalwa. They join Gordon Oluoch, Richard Ekhalie, Joram Ondere, Jack Nelson Wamboka and Henry Shisemi.

The Board has been tasked with arranging elections within sixty days. The Board shall use the Members Register as closed at 10th February 2011.

Link

The reaction of the group that came in under the Fourth Option is awaited. The dispute may be averted if the Officials under the Fourth Option obey the Minister's directive. However, if they choose not to, then a showdown looms.  The other way it can be averted is if it is shown that the Registrar was the one that proposed this action. If not,  and litigation happy members go to court, the loser in the end is Leopards as it may affect the performance of the team and if any violence is reported due to skirmishes between 'officials' especially during match days, the Kenya Premier League which runs the League may take some action. 

It will be interesting to see who shall be attending meetings of KPL if a dispute ensues. Similarly, if someone wishes to take action against the Club, as some former players are planning to do in respect of their unpaid salaries and wages, it will be interesting to see whom they take action against.

Whilst Leopards continues its journeys to grope in the dark and perpetually fight over the positions, the bottom line has been that there is a clear lacking of constitutionalism by the four arms of the team; the members, the officials, the players and the sponsors. 

Members of the club should remain tolerant to each other and even those who hold views that may appear divergent to others should be listened to. Some of the controversial views have been the calls by some mebers that politicians should keep away from the club as they will not ofer solutions to the problems the club is experiencing. In fact, some fans openly celebrated when the Hon. Bonny Khalwale who had canvassed for a joint Ochiel and Kituyi ticket at the aborted elections, recently lost his parliamentary seat. Of course, this does not translate to a solution for Leopards and therefore celebrating his setback is merely part of the infantile reactions you would expect from fans who think that sweeping our problems under the carpet will resolve problems that bedevil the club. In fact, it has taken another politician, the Minister to offer the fifth solution and if there was consistency, then his intervention would probably not elicit congratulatory messages. In any event, the issue of saying politicians should stay away fro Leopards has no bearing. Silvio Berlusconi  of Italy is the Prime Minister no less and still heads AC Milan, which has had a fair share of successes and whose home strip we have imitated as our away strip.

The other controversial view has been the seemingly tribal angle that has been put forth that one of the aspirants, Alex ole Magelo, had no roots in Western Kenya and thus shouldnt hold the top position in Leopards. It is much like a non-Catalan holding the Presidency at Barcelona. Again, whilst Ingwe Fan disagrees with this view that a non-Westerner shouldnt hold the Chair's position, Ingwe Fan also appreciates where fans who hold such views are coming from. It is unfortunate that when Africans talk about identity, it immediately translates to 'tribe' but we all look forward to the day a Madrista is elected President of Barcelona or a Catalan elected President of Real Madrid. To dismiss such views as nonsensical is being too prudish.

Let us look for solutions that last; solutions that improve our team; solutions that make sense not just for today but set the precedence for tomorrow. Let us respect our constitution and finally let us remember the three words: STRUCTURES, STRUCTURES, STRUCTURES! At the end of the day, this club is OURS FOREVER whether you support Alex Ole Magelo or whether you support Winstone Kitui or whether you support Julius Ochiel. 

After all, even the person on the street has an opinion about what our solutions are!