I almost did not attend this meeting due to prior commitments that I had. I managed to get there at about 3.40pm and found that the meeting had not started as everybody was waiting for Charles Nyaberi who is the Supremo for Kenya National Sports Council. Poor Bwana Nyaberi has been dragged into this Chess Kenya fiasco for the past 18 months and I must admit that he has been great help to the poorly treated chess players under the previous regime.
The first thing that surprised me was the huge turnout. We had the following in attendance – Charles Nyaberi, Ann Nganga (KNSC and National Olympic Committee of Kenya or NOCK), Mr Nderitu (KNSC), Victor Ngani (Chairman ICKC), Githinji Hinga (ICKC), Akello Atwoli, P Singe, Rehema Maria (all three part of the Constitution Committee), Brian Kidula, Kim Bhari, Martin Oyamo, Paul Oketch, Paul Aloyo, Gilbert Wandera, Raj Pendyala, Ricky Sang, Samuel Kimani, Stanley Luruti (ex Chairman of Chess Kenya) and former Lord of Chess Larry Kagambi (ex Secretary General of Chess Kenya).
The 3 hot points that were debated were;
1. Membership – the proposed structure was confusing as one could be a member either individually or via a a club. The committee agreed to go back and work on it.
2. Conflict of Interest – This point was hotly contested by Larry Kagambi. We all know that Larry was in charge of a chess academy while he was Secretary General of Chess Kenya. This point never went down well with chess players who felt he was using his position to influence many things in chess. Larry had an interesting point in that one FIDE official told him that he (FIDE official )ran a chess business that generated a USD 500k even while he was an official. Larry also pointed out that we should make sure that someone’s rights (ie his) are not infringed as Bill of Rights in the Constitution of Kenya is the supreme document. Very interesting!!
3. Non – Citizens. The question of non citizens representing Kenya was another hot potato. Singe and Atwoli were very strongly in favour of any chess team being made up of only citizens of Kenya. Nyaberi pointed out that other sports associations have the same rule as well. Victor Ngani would have non of that and suggested at we must accommodate the non citizens that we have in our team. The constitution has a proposal that the senior team will have only one non-citizen and for junior teams no more than 50%. This I believe to be a fair system for the next two years.
Meeting ended at around 6.30 pm.
I am sorry that I forgot to take any photos.