Progress has been made in unlocking the Kenya Aquatics leadership stalemate after the World Aquatics ceded to the governments’ request to form a joint stabilization committee.
While appearing in Parliament tom answer to Mp’s queries Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba revealed the world body has agreed to the inclusion of members picked by the government to the stabilization committee that has been in place since July 2022.
‘’We have made effort to intervene in this matter by engaging directly with World Aquatics to allow government to exercise the law, the mandate in section 54 of the Sports Act which allows the cabinet secretary to make an intervention in the management of a federation .We have gone back and forth with world Aquatics because they feel if we deploy section 54 they will walk out and freeze Kenya from the world’’ Ababu remarked .
Ababu further stated the fruits the talks has yielded ‘‘We had a breakthrough this morning and World Aquatics has agreed that we can form a team under section 54 on consultation with them, because they have already formed their stabilization committee. We have now agreed with the world body that we can now consult and put together a joint team’’, Ababu stated.
Kenya was suspended by FINA in December 2019 due to failure to conduct elections and after three years of trying to find a solution , Kenya again failed to conduct election on July 8th 2023.
Ababu told the House that already meetings between the stabilization committee have been held expressing optimism that the stalemate would be resolved however warning of an active court case.
‘’The elephant in this room is this high court petition number 08 of 2021 which we must get out of court because thru this application we have an injunction that stops anybody from purporting to undertake elections or management of swimming activities’’, Ababu said.
Even as the process of putting place a proper federation goes on g Kenyan swimmers will continue taking part in international events including the Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers,Ababu revealed.
‘’We have asked World aquatics that as we deal with these issues let’s not punish the athletes, lets deal with governance issues but have an arrangement that will allow our swimmers to participate in qualifiers and that if they qualify they take part in Olympics’’.
The committee will now be tasked with solving two key questions that have remained a puzzle .Who would be in charge of the federation and how they will be elected.
Ababu appeared in Parliament to answer to allegations of mismanagement of sports in the country raised by a section of Kenya Kwanza legislators.