Newly elected Kenya Rugby Union chairman Richard Omwela has vowed to try and reach out to fighting factions in the Rugby fraternity as he seek to redeem the Union’s face. KRU has been engaged in wrangles with a rival group led by Sasha Mutai after the latter’s group met and voted out the current board.
The Mutai led group had yesterday move to court seeking injunction to stop KRU from holding yesterdays AGM but the case was dismissed paving way for clubs to elect new chairman and new four directors.
“I walked in with my house open, there’s been a lot of in fighting in the board, my first responsibility will be to try and reconcile the different factions so that we have a united rugby once again just like we had before”
“It’s not gonna be easy because we have seen even today there are completely two different factions even with the AGM, the whole idea of a leader is to try and reach out other faction and establish what is the problem” Said Omwela.
The rival faction was protesting the manner in which KRU Board conducted themselves after they were reported to have fallen out with key sponsors. The crisis in the board led to resignation of former sevens coach Paul Treu as well as three directors and former chairman Mwangi Muthee.
The differences were evident yesterday before voting began as section of delegates protested they were locked out of the voting register with KRU insisting due process was followed. Nils Achayo from Mombasa Spartans took issues with the Union for locking him out of voting for the second year in a row but he eventually calmed down and allowed voting to begin.
Omwela garnered 25 votes with his rival Gabriel Ouko securing 18 votes. Ouko will however remain as KRU treasurer since he was appointed as chairman on acting capacity.
Omwela comes at a time sponsors are at logger heads with the KRU board and he says he will do his best to win their trust again.
“I do hope with the good board, we can begin speaking to sponsors again because sponsors are looking for value as well as recognition, we had a situation where some of our directors were insulting the sponsors, that is unacceptable and we cannot condone that” Omwela said.
“It’s a delicate balance to try and get the sponsors back on Board and I do hope they are listening and we will reach out to them to see if we can get our value back” He added.
Omwela had vowed to clean the mess in the Board and has promised to fully implement the Simpson Osiemo report as well as the audit report.The Osiemo report was investigating the conduct of some KRU directors. Omwela said he will not work with anyone who is not fit to run an office.
“When I get the reports, we as Board will sit down and decide if they are people affected by that report, chapter six should kick in, you must be clean to be in the Board, if you are not and the report identified that you are a cancer in the Board you will have to leave”
During the election, Rajinder Sembi from Western Bulls, Paula Lanco, Ian Mugambi and Oscar Mango were elected as the new KRU directors. Omwela believes with the new Board they can take the Rugby game to the next level.
However he has issued a stern warning to the directors saying he will not tolerate any director whose main job will be hanging around KRU secretariat. Omwela says the directors should only meet once a month. He says the work of running the union should be left to KRU CEO Ronald Bukusi.
Omwela who is City lawyer is making his second return to RKU after losing to Mwangi Muthee back in 2011 and he says he is back for short time and ensure there is succession planning when he leaves.
During the AGM, clubs passed a motion agreeing 10% of uncommitted revenue from KRU should be distributed to KRU affiliates. The motion was moved by Impala RFC chairman Geoffrey Gangla and was seconded by Mwamba RFC as well as Kabras Sugar. Initially the motion was seeking KRU to distribute 30% of their revenue to clubs but was strongly objected by KRU vice chairman Philip Jalango saying the move will cripple the Union.
The AGM was graced by Rugby Afrique representative Marvin Green.