On the 7th of March 2019, the Kenya Rugby Union held the first ever Sports Chairmanship debate in the Country courtesy of the Union’s Broadcast Partner, Bamba Sports.
The Debate held at the Strathmore University was very well attended by vast stakeholders. Former and current Club Chairmen, affiliates like the KRRS represented by the Chairman Mwangi Karimi, Patrons, Sponsors and former Directors, outgoing Chairman Richard Omwela and his current board of directors made part of the audience.
Ambassador Dennis Awori, former ambassador for Kenya to Japan was in attendance. Amb. Awori is a Former chairman of KRU a position he held for 10 years and then the MD of Toyota EA whose sponsorship saw KRU acquire a vehicle for its daily administrative use.
In attendance were the Patrons represented by the Secretary Aggrey Chabeda and also former Kenya internationals Wycliffe Mukulu, Beth Omolo, former KRU Hon. Sec Frank Sabwa and Paul Murunga ex- Nondies.
Former Shujaa Captain and current NOCK male representative Humphrey Kayange was also in the audience.
The debate was also attended by Sponsors, Trixie Chibole Marketing and Communications – Stanbic Bank, John Lawrence, Head of Communications – Bidco and Danny Mucira, General Manager, digital and Bamba TV – Radio Africa Group.
Asiko Owiro, Oduor Gangla and Sasha Mutai are the three men challenging each other for the Chairman Position. At the debate, they were given two hours of live coverage to convince the rugby stake holders why each was the best suited to take charge of the KRU Board after Richard Omwela’s term expires on March 20th.
The debate shows that the Union and Rugby fraternity as a whole is ready to be held accountable. This was indicated by the number of the questions that were streaming in by those in the theatre and through Social Media. The three gentlemen are willing to have open discussions on accountability.
To answer questions from the public on corruption, the three candidates agreed that the game is not corrupt. Every year the Union publishes the Annual Report and in it, there is the audit report that clearly explains how money was used.
Should they lose, the candidates pledged to stay in the game to help in growth from the Club level up to the National level as well as continuously looking for sponsors who would channel money into the sport.
Despite the hiccups along the way, Asiko, Gangla and Sasha agreed that there is room for improvement when it comes to player welfare; above all else, this is key. They agreed that player welfare should be cultivated in the Clubs as much as it is done in the National Team since at the end of the day, the National Team players are selected from these Clubs.
The Kenya Rugby Union will hold its AGM on the 20th of March at the RFUEA Grounds from 3:00pm. The Chairman and four Director- positions are up for election on the day.