In a landmark decision, the High Court of Kenya has ordered the removal of Athletics Kenya (AK) officials from their positions. 

Justice Lawrence Mugambi ruled that the officials, led by President Jackson Tuwei who have served for eight years, must vacate the office immediately and are barred from seeking re-election.

The ruling comes after a legal challenge filed by ten petitioners, including prominent athletes Moses Tanui and Wilson Boit, who argued that the process undertaken to revise the AK Constitution in 2015 was flawed and violated the Sports Act 2013.

The petitioners argued that the existing Constitution, enacted under the outdated Societies Act, could not be amended to comply with the Sports Act.

They contended that a completely new Constitution should have been drafted and adopted.

Justice Mugambi, in his judgement, agreed with the petitioners.

He noted that Sections 46 and 49 of the Sports Act limit the term of office for officials in national sports organizations to eight years.

"An order be and is hereby issued that by dint Sections 46 and 49 of the Sports Act and the Second Schedule thereof, the officials and Executive Committee of the 1st respondent (Tuwei), who have been in office office for a cumulative period of eight years since the coming into force of the Sports Act, have served their terms in full and must forthwith vacate office," Justice Mugambi stated.

"They shall be ineligible to contest for any position in the organisation."

Since the current AK leadership has exceeded this term, their removal from office was deemed necessary.

Furthermore, the court found that the process of amending the AK Constitution lacked transparency and inclusivity, violating Articles 10 and 47 of the Kenyan Constitution and Section 46 of the Sports Act.

These provisions require open participation and consideration of public concerns in organizational matters.

Responding to the petitioners' claims, Tuwei defended the amendment process, stating that the AK Executive Committee facilitated public participation through stakeholder consultations and media advertisements.

However, the court ultimately found these measures insufficient.

The judgement also includes critical remarks regarding AK's monopolistic status as the sole registered National Sports Organisation for athletics.

Justice Mugambi emphasized the organization's responsibility to the public, requiring them to conduct their affairs with transparency and due regard for the public interest.

In addition to removing the current officials, the court ordered AK to conduct a further review of its Constitution within the next 90 days.

This review must consider public concerns previously raised and aim to enhance inclusivity, representation, and transparency within the organization's leadership structure.

"Given that the act of registration confers the 1st Respondent monopolistic status as the only registered National Sports Organisation in the athletics discipline by dint of Section 47 (1) of the Sports Act, a declaration be and is hereby issued that the 1st Respondent has a duty to the public to conduct its affairs having due regard to public interest and is thus enjoined by Article 10 (2) of the Constitution and Section 46 (6) of the Sports Act to hold consultation with the public and demonstrably give due consideration to concerns raised by the public while formulating or reviewing its policy documents," the court ruled.

The High Court's decision is a significant development for Kenyan athletics. It paves the way for fresh elections within AK and potentially ushers in a new era of transparency and inclusivity for the organization.