Former Kibra MP aspirant, footballer McDonald Mariga’s family and Football Kenya Federation’s (FKF) top brass responded to reports that he would be vying for the top seat in the upcoming federation elections.
The elections were scheduled to take place before March 2020, and reports were rife that Mariga would battle for the presidency against incumbent Nick Mwendwa.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, FKF chief executive, Barry Otieno, on Wednesday, January 15, explained that Mariga’s candidature could not be confirmed at the time since there was no elections board in place to receive his application.
“By regulation, Mariga would formally inform the yet to be constituted electoral board of his interest to vie for the FKF presidency.
“As such, we have not and are not supposed to receive any documentation from any FKF presidential hopeful,” Otieno stated.
A report by People Daily on Thursday, January 16, stated that Mariga’s father, Noah Wanyama, claimed that the football star would not vie for the seat.
“For starters, Mariga is currently out of the country. In any case, he would have told me of his intentions or seek advice. That means this story on social media can only be fiction.
“It is a huge decision to make for anybody and I believe Mariga is an open person who would consult widely,” Wanyama is quoted.
Since losing the Kibra bid to Orange Democratic Movement’s Imran Okoth, Jubilee’s Mariga has managed to revert back to a low-key life.
His last public appearance was on December 23, 2019, when he accompanied Deputy President William Ruto to the Mumboha Hustlers Football Cup in Luanda, Vihiga County.
In December 2019, the Sports Disputes Tribunal led by chairman John Ohaga nullified the FKF County Elections held on November 23, 2019, and further cancelled the subsequent national elections that were to be held on December 7, 2019.
By then, Nick Mwenda was the only candidate who had been cleared to run for the presidency after competitors failed to launch bids for the seat.
Ohaga argued that there wasn’t enough public participation in the elections and that the FKF electoral board was not properly constituted.
FKF then issued a notice to all its members to hold engagement meetings to deliberate on the 2019/2019 FKF electoral code which would be followed by a special general meeting that would pass a vote on the code.
The NEC was also scheduled to propose an electoral board, which would be up for a vote on the same day.
If passed, the board would henceforth be mandated to conduct the repeat elections. As at January 2020, all the 20 FKF branches had held public participation forums on the 2019/2020 FKF Electoral Code ahead of repeat elections to be held within the first trimester of 2020.
The branches had also forwarded their recommendations to the FKF head office and were awaiting further deliberations and adoption of a final document.