Crisis-hit Kenyan football witnessed another day of drama on Tuesday when suspended Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa re-opened the offices he has been locked out of since November 2021, only for the country’s sports minister to term the move a “break in”.
The East African nation remains under suspension from international football, sanctioned by world governing body FIFA in March over government interference.
Mwendwa re-opened the FKF Goal Project office in Kasarani on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi which serves as the federation headquarters.
The premises had been kept inaccessible to Mwendwa, FKF Executive and all the staff since November 11, 2021, following a directive by then-Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed, who disbanded the Federation’s National Executive Committee.
“Our objective today was to assess the situation here and inform FIFA that our offices and communication channels are once again in our full and unconditional control,” Mwendwa told reporters.
He said re-opening the FKF offices would “put Kenyan football on the path towards normalcy” and is one of the conditions the country needs to fulfill to reverse the FIFA suspension.
Mwendwa claimed he has the backing of the new administration under President William Ruto, who ascended to power last week.
“We have had engagements with the newly sworn-in government which has shown commitment towards Kenyan football’s return to normalcy. In the coming days, we shall have consultations with clubs and other football stakeholders to map out a detailed roadmap for the resumption of our leagues and national team activities,” he added.
However, in a quick rejoinder through a press statement, Mohamed said Mwendwa and his team were legally out of office.
She said the break-in at the FKF offices was led by indicted FKF officials, who were legally removed following an inspection by the Office of the Sports Registrar.
Mohamed said the decision by the ministry on November 11, 2021, has since been upheld by the Ruling of the High Court of Kenya on May 10.
She reiterated that Mwendwa still faces charges in court over corruption and abuse of office and he is yet to be cleared.