NOCK ordered to pay former Bowling Chair moral damages

By francis marangu
Nov 03, 2021

National Olympic Committee of Kenya has been ordered to pay former Kenya Bowling Association chairman Charles Kariuki Wambugu Ksh.350, 000 as moral damages.

The nominal damages given out by Sports Disputes Tribunal are way below the total Ksh.1.5 million that Wambugu had sought from NOCK.

He had sued the body for unprocedurally kicking him out of the organizing committee for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

He wanted to be compensated allowances for the duration of the games. In their final verdict on the matter, the tribunal argued that Wambugu was not a professional sportsman thus was not right to claim damages arising from the loss of allowances.

“These do not constitute income but rather are in the nature of a stipend paid to athletes and other officials to enable them meet basic needs while preparing for or participating in sporting events on behalf of the country.”

The tribunal further ruled that Wambugu failed to prove he had suffered any damages to his reputation owing to the actions of NOCK.

They said the manner of communication for his exclusion from the Kenya team was not published or broadcast.

“Indeed, the tribunal questioned the appellant closely about this aspect of the claim but could detect nothing that suggested his exclusion from the bowls team had been handled in such manner as to cause him any particular public humiliation or distress,” read the ruling.

There was one issue up for determination by the tribunal; whether the respondent removed the appellant as team manager for the bowls team and precluded him from traveling to the Commonwealth Games and if so, the propriety of such action.

The tribunal ruled that NOCK had no authority to enter into affairs of the Kenya Bowling Association and had not explained why it saw it fit to do so.

Further, they said the appellant demonstrated his case on balance of probability.

“We have no hesitation in granting the declaration sought to the effect that the appellant's exclusion from the Kenya team was unlawful and without just cause.”

Wambugu’s lawyer Njeru Nyaga welcomed the ruling.

“We have accepted the principles of the ruling. However, the precedent of saying amateurs cannot claim allowances was wrong. We have won the case substantially even though we did not get all the allowances we asked for.”

FKF to know fate in a week

In a separate case, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) will wait until November 10 to know the direction of their application seeking extension to the deadline for registration.

Sammy Shollei and Julius Iganji who were interested parties in the matter appeared to disagree with the federation.

Through lawyer Roland Oyieko, Shollei accused FKF of feeding the tribunal with wrong information concerning their annual general meeting held in August.

 “This extension is being sought primarily because the AGM set for August 28 aborted. That is wrong and a misinformation to this tribunal,” Oyieko submitted.

“I have records to show that the meeting took place and the federation's vice president who is a member of this tribunal attended.”

Oyieko said the federation is guilty of acting in total contempt of the orders issued by the tribunal in seeking the extension.

“Your ruling was very categorical on the AGM agenda to have matters of registration discussed. That was a fundamental issue of discussion but the minutes show that it was not done. In effect, the federation is in contempt of orders issued by this tribunal.”

Iganji questioned why the federation sought for an extension at the exact time when the deadline was expiring.

“This clearly shows they were aware of these orders.”

The matter pitting two factions at AFC Leopards top leadership was also canvassed. The tribunal relied on a ruling issued by the magistrate court on November 2 to give directions that will see all interested parties enjoined to the case. The court had asked the parties to seek for a solution at the tribunal.