Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Sam Nyamweya could be spoilt for choice on whom to pick as his running mate during this year’s federation polls scheduled for November 13.
Unlike in 2011 when he declared his line-up at ‘The Other Place’, a restaurant in Nairobi, way before the polls, picking his preferred running mate (Mohammed Omar) and all the executives, Tom Alila, (Nyanza), Dorris Petra (Rift Valley), George Wainaina (Central), Nick Mwendwa (Nairobi), Ismael Onyango (Coast), Angeline Elijah (Eastern) and Elly Mukolwe (Western), this time the incumbent who is seeking re-election has opted to remain mute.
His silence has kept everyone guessing, especially after he officially kicked off his campaigns in Central Kenya at the weekend with a lean team and did not endorse anyone as his preferred candidate for any position.
So far Mwendwa who is seeking the president’s position, is the only candidate to have picked a running mate. He settled on former FKF leagues and competition chairperson and NEC member of Rift Valley Petra, a move that have forced most of the remaining candidates seeking the vice president position, eyeing Nyamweya’s endorsement.
So far the second in command position is being targeted by Petra, former vice president Sammy Sholei who recently had his six-year suspension lifted and has since been in good books with the incumbent, current vice president Robert Asembo, Twaha Mbarak who was once Nyamweya’s deputy at the defunct Kenya Football Federation (KFF), former NEC member of Coast Hussein Terry and Andrew Amukoa who is believed to be a darling of Nyamweya due to their close relationship.
It is certainly going to be a tough balancing act for Nyamweya and he may not have a line-up like he did in 2011, for fear of losing the support of some candidates.
All the six candidates are said to be close to the incumbent at the moment, but as the polls date grows nearer, some may opt to join other candidates like Gor Semelang’o, Ssemi Aina, Ken Oliech, John Waluke and Nahashon Lule who are also yet to identify their line-ups.
Nyamweya could not be reached for comment on the issue, but from his previous relationship and close ties with Mbarak, he could have a soft sport for the Mombasa based businessman for the position and Asembo may run as an independent candidate if the worst befalls him, just like he did in 2011.
Sholei having won the 2011 polls despite being in a different camp could still be having a strong network across the country and could also opt to vie as an independent candidate, while Petra having been lauded on the way she handle the leagues and competition docket, gives her strong campaign tool added to the gender advantage as ladies have been seeking representation at higher levels to help the growth of women football.