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Government now takes sides in AFC Leopards wrangles

The leadership wrangles at Kenyan Premier League giants AFC Leopards has taken a new twist after the Ministry of Sports backed the Mathew Opwora-led faction to run the affairs of the club.

In a one page letter dated September 4 and which is copied to Football Kenya Federation and Kenyan Premier League, the Sports Ministry said that the Opwora led team were elected as the club’s interim officials on January 24 and are thus the interim office bearers as they await the registration certificate of the club as per the Sports Act 2013.

Opwora and his group exploited the loophole by the current and the immediate previous office holders failure to register the club as per the requirements of the Sports Act.

Others in the Opwora camp are Maurice Osundwa (secretary general), Noah Wanyama (organising secretary), Maurice Milimo (deputy chairman), Suleiman Angulu( deputy secretary general), Okiya Dindi(treasurer), Carolyne Mayunzu( deputy treasurer and Nancy Murata( committee member).

And briefing reporters in Nairobi on Tuesday, Opwora said: “We have received a backing letter from the government, the club has not been able to attract sponsors due to weak leadership. We now ask them (Walter Onyino led group) to hand over the leadership of the club peacefully.”

He went on: “We want to roll out membership recruitment drive; this is a community club and we want to bring everybody on board.”

However, in a quick rejoinder, Walter Onyino, who has been leading the interim committee elected two months ago to run the club affairs dismissed the move.

“Yes, they (Opwora camp) made an application, but they have not changed the constitution. If the government is giving them the letter of recognition, why have they not been given the certificate?”

“We know the people they are working with in the government. Again, why would a ministry official attempt to overrule the court because as far as I’m concerned, the matter is not in court. We didn’t take them there; they did so they have to wait for the court ruling,” he said.