Stakeholders, investigators convince Mwendwa to withdraw from race
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa is allegedly contemplating throwing in the towel as pressure mounts from stakeholders and investigative authorities close in on over a number of issues.
Fears are rife that Mwendwa and Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno could be arrested this week to face corruption and fraud-related charges even as a court-driven consultative programme kicks off today.
The shaken federation boss is said to have held a heart-to-heart talk with his trusted members of Team Blue, his campaign team, over his chances last Friday.
This follows an earlier meeting in January in which Mwendwa suggested that he leave football politics but was dissuaded by his inner circle.
“Nick is not amused at all by the current situation. The kind of business he does outside football can really suffer, if not doing so already, from the questioning by DCI and he is contemplating making a deal to avoid the embarrassment of public arrest.
He had suggested the same when the first election was annulled by the Sports Disputes Tribunal but the hardliners within his Team Blue dissuaded him from doing so.
You know a lot of them would not get anything without his support so they have to keep him in the game,” a trusted member of Team Blue, who requested anonymity revealed to People Sport on Sunday.
Mwendwa is strongly considering throwing his weight behind his brother in-law Herbert Mwachiro should integrity issues bar him from defending his seat. Mwachiro threw his hat in the ring for the FKF presidency last week.
The sports pundit and commentator was thrust into the federation as Deputy CEO and head of Kenya’s ill-fated CHAN 2018 bid and Mwendwa seems to be lining him up to inherit the reigns should his tenure come to an end.
“Nick trusts him because, of course, their family ties. He would rather back Mwachiro than any other member of Team Blue.
But even if he retains the presidency, Mwachiro will still join the FKF secretariat,” added the source.
Efforts by People Sport to get a clarification from Mwendwa over the issue proved futile as his phone went unanswered and he did not also respond to our text message.
Otieno responded to our text message, only saying: “The president should be able to speak for himself.”