The Sh38 million theft case filed against Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has been dismissed by a Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate, Wilson Rading. Rading stated that the charges were “defective, unlawful and unconstitutional,” and ordered that Mwendwa should not be arrested or charged again based on the same conclusions reached by the investigation team.
Mwendwa was charged with conspiracy to defraud Sh38 million, which led to the Sports Cabinet Secretary disbanding the Federation, and later appointing a caretaker committee to steer football matters in the country. The charges stated that he conspired to commit an offence of corruption where it was alleged he defrauded Football Kenya Federation Sh29 million between April 16, 2021, and May 31, 2021.
The case was terminated in July 2021 when the DPP failed to present witnesses, and Mwendwa has been hounded out of office since then. He is now able to resume his duties after being exonerated.
This case led to FIFA suspending Kenya from international football, affecting the nation’s local clubs, national football teams and referees. The country served a suspension imposed by Fifa in February 2022 for government interference. FIFA’s conditions before lifting the suspension were for the government to return the running of the sport to FKF and for the Goal Project offices to be reopened.
The ban was lifted in November last year, however, the men’s team missed the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, while the Harambee Starlets (women’s team) failed to participate in a two-legged World Cup qualifier against neighbours Uganda. Clubs were also omitted from the CAF Confederation and Champions League games.
Mwendwa has denied the four counts in which he was alleged to have committed between March and May 2021. His acquittal will come as a relief to football fans in the country and marks a significant victory for him in his fight against corruption allegations.