Chess Kenya constitution seeks to bar non-citizens from international ties
By Gilbert Wandera
After many years of allowing non-citizens to represent the country in international events, a new Chess Kenya constitution proposes to limit this.
The proposal, which is likely to draw various and heated sentiments, is contained in the proposed constitution scheduled to be ratified by delegates on January 20.
Article 10.2 (11) further proposes that a non-Kenyan will not be declared a national champion to promote the game among indigenous Kenyans.
It goes on to propose that all national teams shall be a reserve of Kenyan citizens only, but proposes that a slot may be made available to non-Kenyans who meet several conditions.
The conditions require that to qualify one must have lived in Kenyan for a minimum of three years, has a permit from their mother federation to play for another federation or has to be officially registered as a Kenyan citizen.
Over the years, Kenyan junior and youth teams have been represented by non-citizens something that has stagnated the growth of the sport in the age-group category.
The new constitution also recognises the role of players and accords them a special committee to champion their issues.
The committee will have nine members who are elected by players during each national championship and one representative nominated by the players from each branch making a total of 19 members.
Another major feature of the constitution is the recognition of chess in schools with a special committee proposed to handle this. Chess in schools has become very popular as a way of developing the sport in various parts of the world and Chess Kenya aims to follow suit. To bring in specialists for various tasks, the constitution proposes the creation of seven posts to be headed by executive officers.
The officers will be in charge of players committee, youth development, events, marketing, disciplinary, women chess and elections.
Another controversial proposal is the exclusion of coaches from holding elective positions in order to minimise conflict of interest.
Charles Nyaberi, the treasurer of a caretaker committee running the sport, said new elections will be held in February.