Kiplagat calls for reconciliation as AK branch bosses remain adamant
By Joseph Mwangi
Embattled Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat has called for a truce with AK regional chairmen even as the dissenting regional bosses continue to call for his departure.
Speaking after the Athletics Kenya calendar National executive meeting, that was boycotted by 14 chairmen from the regions , Kiplagat extended an olive branch to those dissatisfied with his 22 year reign at the helm of AK saying, “We are not for war, we are for reconciliation,” He noted that doors of dialogue are not shut and that he was willing to discuss the issues that have been raised by the regional chairmen. “Let them give us their issues in writing and we will talk and reconcile, we are here to serve Kenyans,” Kiplagat asserted.
The long-serving Kiplagat who will be vying for the IAAF vice presidency next year said that solutions can only be attained through dialogue, “We want to have a wrangle free federation and that is why we are calling them, The chairmen, to sit with us and have a solution, we can not solve issues that we haven’t been given officially,” He added in an uncharacteristic change of tact for a normally tough talking administrator.
But in a quick reaction, Korir said that they have long bee airing their concerns over poor leadership at Riadha house and the movement has gained momentum. “He (Kiplagat) has to understand that we are very serious, our debate must be result oriented and unless he is ready to engage us in a meaningful discussion, we will not loosen the knot,” Korir Said.
“We are not fighting for positions, we have given our points and they must be addressed. AK has delegates who are the electorate and will decide when time comes, what we want is the national office to address the issues we have raised,” He noted. Korir added that the national body has over the year seemed successful owing to the hard work done at the grassroots level by individual athletes and branches. “The national office has never produced a single athlete, they are all bred by the branches and AK bursts in the glory of our success, we want the best for athletes and we are not relenting on this.” He said.
The Regional chairmen have formed a caucus that is led by Kiplagat’s deputy at Riadha house Paul Mutwi and AK Nairobi county Chair Barnaba Korir and which has threatened to oust Kiplagat if he does not willingly cede by end of October.
Only chairmen for South Rift, Central rift, universities, Central and North Rift regions attended the meeting albeit not accompanied by their executive committee members.