Wanjala: There is no crisis at Chess Kenya
Chess Kenya chairman Bernard Wanjala has said there are no wrangles or crisis at the federation to warrant arbitration by the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT).
Wanjala’s remarks come after a section of members and officials went to SDT accusing him and two others of being in the office illegally and refusing to hold elections as provided by the Chess Kenya constitution.
“There are no wrangles at Chess Kenya but just differing opinions,” Wanjala told People Sport.
Peter Michieka, Judy Kiragu, and Cheryl Ngima have moved to the SDT according to an application seen by People Sport accusing Bernard Wanjala and three other officials at Chess Kenya of frustrating the efforts to hold elections as required by law.
“Chess Kenya (first respondent) ought to have conducted elections on or before February 14, 2021 in accordance with the provisions of the Sports Act and the constitution,” the applicants claimed.
“The second, third and fourth respondents have continued to occupy office illegally past their statutory terms in violation of the law and in total disregard of the rights of the members of Chess Kenya, and attempts by members to conduct an election as provided by law have been frustrated by these respondents,” the applicants added.
But Wanjala has refuted the claims, saying the delay in holding elections has been occasioned by reasons beyond their powers.
“Everyone knows the situation that’s prevailing in the country. Our term was to end in April but due to Covid-19, it was not possible or attainable to hold a face-to-face election.
“Besides that, we got a letter from the Sports Registrar indicating that our federation has not complied with the opening of branches countrywide and that our constitution is also not aligned to Sports Act therefore not be allowed to do elections if those things are not complied with,” said Wanjala.
“Once I received the registrar’s communication, I called a stakeholder meeting online and members agreed to form a team to review the constitution and come up with a new draft within six weeks which comes to an end next week.
“Thereafter, we will forward to the registrar for approval and after approval we go for elections. No one wants to stay in the office illegally
“Our mandate is to have a credible administration at Chess Kenya. I agree time for election is due, but it’s not our making, it’s because of the prevailing circumstances in the country, and we cannot hold a virtual or online election because the constitution does not provide for it,” added Wanjala.