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Rugby boss Sasha Mutai stares at internal rebellion

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Sasha Mutai is reading mischief in two motions of “no confidence” in his leadership style.

He has accused a few members of seeking to stage a coup to access the Union’s finances.

The two rugby clubs – one in Kisumu County and the other in Bungoma County – have lodged a motion of no-confidence to remove Mutahi, who is barely two years in office.

“These allegations are baseless and ill-timed. This is a conspiracy by a few members who have an intention of finding corrupt ways to misuse the union’s resources and bring confusion through smear campaigns,” he said.

He added, “It is ironical that the two clubs allege a lack of leadership and transparency in the management of affairs of Kenya Rugby Union, while our efforts to unearth deep-rooted corruption and ill-motive are misconstrued as an intrusion into personal data privacy.”

Mutai further dismissed allegations he failed to use internal dispute resolution processes under the ambit of the KRU Constitution to deal with internal feuds.

Mutai’s Scorecard

Over the past year that he has been at the helm of the Union, Mutai can boast of several successes,  including the move to bring back the Safari 7s an international tournament that features teams from all over the world.

The country also hosted the World Rugby U20 Trophy and appointed a new team to manage the Shujaa, who earned a place for Kenya at the Paris 2024 Olympics by winning the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens 2023 and winning the men’s Dubai Challenger Cup Series title.

The Kenya Lionesses also qualified for WXV III, they were runners up at the Africa Women’s 7s as well as runners up at the World Rugby Challenger series in Dubai.

“We are in a good position to get Shujaa and Lionesses into the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2024-2025 season. We are also confident that the national men’s rugby 7s side can make history as the first team from Kenya to win a medal at the Olympics during this year’s games in Paris,” said Mutai.

World Rugby he said has shown confidence in the KRU by giving a high-performance grant for the Paris Olympics preparations.

Under his leadership, KRU has cemented a working partnership with the San Clemente Rhinos that has enabled the Lionesses to tour South Africa and play against the Women Springboks and train and play competitive rugby at a fully paid camp.

The KRU has also established a great working relationship with the Government of Kenya who has been supporting KRU in its programmes in the past year.

The Government has also indicated that they will give the KRU 50 acres of land at Kasarani to develop a high-performance centre.

The Simbas (Kenya’s 15 aside team) won the Elgon Cup, and the KRU also cemented sponsorship agreements in the past year with Sportpesa, and EABL through Tusker (who had given KRU a wide berth in the recent past) who sponsored the Victoria Cup and Safari 7s. All these helped to increase our 2023 sponsorship by over 113% from 2022.

The KRU also upgraded their kit deal signing with global sports brand Umbro, JTL through Faiba came in as a new sponsor at the Safari 7s, and negotiations are currently taking place with potential new partners but this may be hindered by the noise being generated by the corrupt old guard who are now locked out of KRU matters.

“KRU is talking to potential investors on this venture for the 2025 Rugby Super Series. Already, one investor has pledged 10 acres of land in Tigoni for one of the Super Series franchises in 2025”, he said.

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