After weeks of speculation, Richard Omwela announced on Wednesday his candidature for the for chairmanship post in the Kenya Rugby Union elections slated for the 17th of March.
The former KRU chairman who lost to Mwangi Muthee four years ago says he is coming back to clean the mess that has been associated with the Union over the last couple of weeks.
“I have been asked and I have accepted the nomination to run for the KRU chairmanship on the 17th, I want to bring back the game to where we belong, I want to bring back the sanity that needs to prevail” Omwela said.
“When I left Kenya Rugby in 2011 as chairman, I thought I left the game in very good and capable hands, the recent events have shown that we may have made a mistake in the leadership we put in place to run the game, we are now associated with some other sport we know, Kenya Football” he added.
Omwela says the decision to run for the top KRU post was due to pressure from rugby lovers both local and international. The city lawyer believes the state of rugby in terms of leadership has left a lot to be desired.
Over the recent past, Kenya Rugby Union Board of directors have been at logger heads leading to the resignation of Chairman Mwangi Muthee as well as three other directors. National team coach Paul Treu resigned from the sevens team citing the wrangles within the Union.
Flanked by several chairmen from top Kenya Cup clubs which included Impala RFC, Nakuru and KCB, Omwela said he would seek to bring together the board members to work as a team in order to develop the game.
“I cannot work on this alone, give me a board that I can work with and as a board if we feel that you are not pulling with us, we can decide that you are no longer a member we can work with and we will tell you to leave, if you don’t leave we will ask the affiliates to take action” he urged the club chairmen.
Omwela has also promised to implement the Simpson Osiemo report following investigations into the actions of KRU directors. The report was prepared by Pape Sembi but has not been released to the public yet. However Omwela says he would love to have a look at it once he is elected.
“I haven’t seen it but when it comes, I will implement it, if it’s in the interest of the game, I will implement it” he said.
Omwela has announced plans to get sponsorship for the Kenya Cup League. The League runs on a KRU budget and has no prize money at the moment.
“Kenya Cup is big tournament but it’s not sponsored. That is something that we need to work on with clubs. We need a sponsor that can actually put money into these clubs and Nationwide as well” Omwela said.
“However we need to look at the issue realistically and identify a sponsor that cuts across the nation, we need to identify who we can work with to be able to get sponsorship for clubs. But before that happens, we must have a product we are selling” he added.
Before Omwela left, KRU had plans to build a rugby stadium at Impala and Omwela says once he is elected he will revive the plan and re introduce the Kenya Rugby Limited as well as appoint independent directors to run the programme. He however admitted that the money previously raised for the programme cannot be accounted for and that the account was closed.
Omwela has also revealed plans to revive women’s rugby as well as ensure every club has a women’s team that will take part in the league. Only Nakuru RFC and Mwamba RFC are actively involved in women’s rugby at the moment.
During the elections, vice chairman Philip Jalango will retain his seat since he will be serving for only the second year in that position. Director of squads Dennis Ombui will also retain his post.