Mutai drops tribunal case against KRU

By the punter
May 12, 2021
  • Sasha Mutai(centre)could be returning to KRU as a Director.(Photo:SNA File)

A case, involving two rugby factions which was referred to the Sports Disputes Tribunal by the High Court may be withdrawn following a reconciliation by the two parties.

Sasha Mutai, a former KRU vice chairman is not keen to continue with the case because of recent developments in which one KRU director resigned and another suspended. The withdrawal is a timely shot in the arm for KRU as they continue mending some of the cracks which had appeared at the Ngong Road office for the past four years.

Last week,Mutai, who has been in and out of the courtrooms in an effort to seek justice for a splinter group ‘elected’ at a Special General Meeting accepted an olive branch from the current leadership when he met with Richard Omwela, the current KRU chairman.

As a result, Mutai will not be going ahead with a tribunal case his group filed with the Sports Disputes Tribunal.

“It has been overtaken by events,” was his reply when asked whether he will go on with the case.

After his meeting with Omwela, Mutai remained noncommittal about the bargaining chip which was dangled to him.

We learned Mutai could be co-opted as a KRU Board Member or is likely to gun for the post of Vice chairman if Philip Jalango loses out in a SGM planned for June 4.

“I will serve rugby inside or outside the Union. But it’s good the axis of evil in rugby has left,” Mutai said without naming names.

“Two more need to go, may be three but the main bad boys are out and should be out for good. The source said the next two directors who have been targeted for the axe are not well meaning.

“They have messed a lot but not as openly as the two directors who were adversely mentioned in the forensic report. With them there, nothing meaningful could be done. Sponsors all ran away.”

Shake up

The shake up within the KRU has been received well by the rugby fraternity. A former KRU Director who worked with Omwela before he was ousted by Mwangi Muthee said there have been fruitful talks with some of the sponsors who had categorically stated they would not deal with KRU if some of the directors were still in the leadership.

The immediate problem was to identify a sponsor for the Safari Sevens after the withdrawal of Safaricom.  learned that East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) were interested in returning as sponsors.

“They have made an offer which is still below the amount required to successfully run the tournament and negotiations are still ongoing,” the former KRU director said.

The Safari Sevens sponsorship comes with the KRU National Sevens Circuit as a rider. He also confirmed that Kenya Airways could renew their sponsorship for Kenya Sevens Rugby team for another three years.

Already, KRU has negotiated for a resumption of an annual grant from World Rugby which had been put on hold unless it was clear who was in charge. Returning to normalty will be a process because there are other issues such as re-visiting the acquisition of the land adjacent to the RFUEA ground which was abandoned.

At the moment, KRU has immediate financial obligations to be met after an estimated loss of Sh40 million from last year's Safari Sevens. The tournament, which is run indipendently is one of the sources of KRU revenue.

No support from Ministry

In the meantime, efforts at reconciling KRU leadership has gone without any input from the Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario.

As a result, KRU have vowed to continue with or without his support as they work towards Kenya Sevens qualification for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The regional qualifier will be held in South Africa in September. Without the Ministry’s input, the KRU top brass intend to seek direct support from the highest office.

“We need all the assistance and since it appears the CS is not keen, we shall go on to the highest office to support our campaign to qualify for the Olympics,” one of the directors said. In the meantime, the KRU Board has read the riot act to all the directors warning there will be no room to pull in a different direction.