As we wait for the election date for Kenyan football elections, we have been looking at some of the prospective candidates and their chances at the top office. Gathering info from both online and offline sources, we have the following review;
|Hussein Mohammed - courtesy of www.husseinmohammed.com|
He’s easily the most visible candidate for the top post and is also ‘well-greased’. Having cut his teeth through a sports business organisation Extreme Sports Limited, he is a darling of the media and is well-connected and networked both in the corporate and political world.
- His involvement in the world of football is without doubt. The success of the Super 8 tournament has ensured he has a head-start in terms of hands-on experience of organising anything football
- Corporate connections – securing sponsorship in Kenyan for sports’ is not the easiest of tasks. Being in a game riddled with corruption and under-cutting is also not easy, but he has made it possible though not with direct involvement of the footballing bodies of Football Kenya, KFF or KPL. He also has also regularly made valued contributions to the footballing causes and youth affairs.
- Age – this is double-edged. While an advantage, endearing him to the youth, it might also be his Achilles heel –which the Independent Election Board statutes had almost knocked him out but was later rescinded. It might also be used by his antagonists to portray him as greenhorn at the top.
- Smart Use of Media – he is the first candidate to start using social media; check his website here, engaging media outlets every so often and enjoying favourable coverage from the same. This ensures he can harness the same in case of his successful election. An elaborate launch to his campaign ensured the media has had more than enough fodder to feed on and seem to hang onto his every word.
- Fresh pair of hands- it favours him that the footballing fraternity in Kenya hopes to see a pair of new hands.
- Age – this keeps surfacing every now and then. He has kept answering back his critics and is trying to treat it as a non-issue.
- Politics – his prior and perceived involvement in Kenya’s political world has had some murmurings saying he is not in the good books of the party sponsoring him to a local civil seat. This has not featured prominently yet but might serve as fodder for the rumour mills dimming his stellar streak.
- Lack of Football heritage – some former players have been pushing for one of their own to run the top office and him not having made it to any club worth mentioning or representing the country at both club or national team level clearly makes this a drawback.
- Over-promising – there was one Maina Kariuki in the early 2000s that made such a convincing pitch that it looked like we finally had an able hand to run the game. He was from the corporate world, and it was assumed he had the right credentials; does it sound familiar? His legacy is one of the worst offices to have run KFF in recent history.
|Sam Shollei - image courtesy of michezoafrika.com|
He was among the first to throw in the hat once the elections were announced. He was a former player having done duty with Kenya Breweries in the 1990s and also got capped for national duty. He currently holds forte at a local IT firm and is a fairly successful businessman.
- Football history – his involvement in the game is surely helping his case. Many in the footballing world feel it is time a former player held the top office. Taking examples from the likes of Kalusha Bwalya and Michel Platini – current Presidents of Football of Zambia Association and UEFA both of whom were former players too, he hopes to emulate these for the Kenyan scene.
- Corporate world involvement – His running the IT firm has helped him work his resume well. A typical Kenyan former football player (sorry to say!) is not the most admirable or well-versed of business managers. This is working to his advantage.
- Local Football Club Associations – he has been working his ‘magic’ towards the football clubs who might influence some of the votes at the national elections.
- Use of media- though a slightly later option, he is also using both online and offline visibility to run his campaign – check his campaign link here. He has not quite endeared himself to the media outlets but comes in 2nd in terms of coverage by print, TV and radio. He made a brief entry into online journalism writing for a local footballing site, check a sample piece here.
- Age – he is not considered too young or too old and his age has not featured as an issue.
- Fresh pair of hands – as Mohammed above, he is a new face in the game and analysts give him a safe bet.
- Lack of Football Management Skills – he has not managed relating to football and this is a major disadvantage to his candidature.
- Banking on Foregone Player Status – given that he is milking on this alone to help him run for office, his career some say was not the most sterling and at times was considered a peripheral player. What will happen once in office?
- Corporate World & Football Politics – just like Mohammed, though a success story in the corporate world, the football politics represent a different ball game; one where dirtying of hands every so often is required.
- Aloofness – some critics have had it that he is aloof to lower rung bodies and clubs where he is said to have little time for.
He has been in and out of the footballing world for the last 20 years. In terms of experience,he easily beats all the contenders but his terms have been dogged by claims of corruption and malpractices; from KFF, CECAFA and is currently said to masquerade with the Posta Rangers Club, recently promoted to the Kenya Premier League as their Chief Marketing Officer or something to that effect. He was ‘elected’ into office at KFF after declaring that Football Kenya Limited could not run Kenyan football as a registered company.
|Sam Nyamweya - courtesy of kenyafootie.com|
- Experience – he has been in the game for over 20 years. From the Secretary General in the KFF team led by Maina Kariuki to the stint at CECAFA, he has held influential positions.
- Corruption & malpractices – his tenures at the different positions he’s held have almost always led to some scandal of sorts. Loss of prize money while at the CECAFA office for the club championships; 3 bans for the country while at KFF as well as loss of gate revenues for clubs and national team; personal bankruptcy charges and questionable political dealings have been on his name for the longest time.
- Lack of media goodwill- his prior engagements have meant that he has a questionable past which the media touches on every so often. He has also not bothered to endear himself to the online and social media world.
- Lack of major achievements - Been there, not-done-it – his record do not strike any major achievements thus the need for a new face which he is clearly not.
- Lack of vision – enough said.
- Political circus – his entreaties to politics have seen him try a hand and miserably fail. Many analysts question how he has managed to survive given the high cost of political activities which usually cause many to bury their fortunes.
Currently heading Football Kenya, he has thrown in his hat hoping for a sympathy vote to continue with the beleaguered tenure. His has been a rough patch with mixed fortunes but teetering on the negative side more than the success.
|Mohamed Hatimy - courtesy of www.standardmedia.co.ke|
- Kenya Premier League – it is under his tenure that the KPL secured a major sponsorship with SuperSport which was a landmark and is slowly changing the face of Kenyan football.
- Highest Ranking – it was also in his tenure that the national team achieved its highest ever FIFA ranking at 68th place across the globe.Again a team effort but of course happening under him.
- Status Quo – for those out to retain the status quo, this is the man for the job.
- Corruption, malpractices & boardroom coups – just like his former ally Sam Nyamweya, his legacy has been plagued by corruption and court cases, keeping busy to effectively run office (in fact this had knocked him out of the running on the pending court case technicality).
- Lack of Vision – just as Sam above, he has never quite communicated his vision for the local game, not while taking over through the back-door or even trying to give something in the guise of a vision.
- Old v/s New – having been in office under a cloud of controversy, he is one of those who are disadvantaged to have served rather (…disgracefully too).
- Not media savvy – having the yoke of controversy around your neck means the media is never going to be your best friend.
He is strolls across the region slowly becoming a colossus of sorts in CECAFA. Working with struggling football associations, he has somehow managed to convince Government big-shots and companies in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan to fall into place to ensure the club and national championships are held annually.
|Nicholas Musonye - www.michezoafrika.com|
- Proven Track Record – his posting at CECAFA has been a major success for the body with the club and national championships; securing sponsorships year-in year-out and often going out on a limb to lambast national officials not too keen to work their part but quick to put their hands in the cookie jar; his tenure is admirable.
- Media savvy – having worked in the media previously, he is always calling on them to articulate matters football in the region. He also throws in his two cents on situations in individual countries’ football associations and governments but is careful enough not to rub them the wrong way. True media darling!
- Well ‘networked’- having contacts in high office of some of the major corporate organizations in the region, he can muster sponsorships even when all else seem to have given up. This can serve him well in enticing more corporates into the game locally. He’s also well-connected at the continental level.
- Timing – if he does declare candidature, his will be a late announcement and not having enough time to muster support from the delegates
- Lack of Vision – back to the first point, with little timing, even the best of visions cannot be communicated that well.
- One-man show- some critiques have often referred to Nicholas as a bit of a one-man show who is not too open to team participation. That might be a personality issue to some who feel the game is too big for one individual.
These are the main contenders and we have the favourites as Hussein Mohammed and
Sam Shollei and the rank outsider being Nicholas Musonye (in case he throws in his hat). The current scenario almost favours the incumbent for now and maybe that’s what they are hoping to play with. There is also the delegates bit which the candidates have to overcome.
We have also been toying with the idea of Hussein and Shollei deciding to be one or the other’s running mate and they would make a formidable team. Hatimy and Nyamweya have already made entreaties to each other and let’s see what happens before the day. For all with hope for the game in the country, a new office would be the best gift for us and the sport. But we have been this way all too often only for our hopes to be dashed. Independent Election Board, over to you!