Kenyan Swimming Federation’s Ban Lifted By World Aquatics after Elections

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Kenyan Swimming Federation’s Ban Lifted By World Aquatics after Elections

The Kenyan Swimming Federation successfully held elections last week, which has led to its reinstatement by World Aquatics.

Under the leadership of Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, Kenya broke a domestic impasse that led to more than a decade without elections being held within the swimming federation.

Elections finally took place on Oct. 14. Maureen Owiti was elected president, with Stanley Kaberu and Hilari Seri as first and second vice president, respectively. Collins Margiri is the KSF’s new secretary general, and the KSF also filled out various committee positions.

Namwamba posted about the achievement on X (formerly Twitter), thanking World Aquatics and pledging continued assistance to the KSF via Kenya’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Namwamba has thread what appears to be a narrow lane between government influence in sport, which can be a reason to suspend sports governing bodies within the Olympic movement, and using the Kenyan government’s power to move to the swimming community to long delayed action.

World Aquatics confirmed that the suspension has been lifted in a statement.

World Aquatics is pleased to report that by the decision of the World Aquatics Bureau, the suspension of Kenya Aquatics is lifted,” World Aquatics said in a statement. “The World Aquatics Bureau thanks the tireless work of the Stabilization Committee, which successfully prepared an updated constitution and held democratic elections for the future officers of the national federation. With this, World Aquatics is pleased to welcome Dr. Maureen Owiti as the President of the federation, along with Mr. Collins Marigiri as Secretary General. We look forward to seeing Kenyan athletes compete at the upcoming World Aquatics Championships -Doha 2024 and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

The Kenyan Swimming Federation was suspended provisionally in Dec. 2019, and the ban was extended in 2021. Kenyan athletes competed at the World Aquatics Championships last year under the banner of “Suspended Member Federations,” but its participation in the Paris Olympics was in doubt if progress wasn’t made. World Aquatics convened a stabilization committee in August to transition Kenya to holding elections, a step toward accountability in governance.

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