Former Kenyan international Dennis Oguta Oliech has come out to refute claims made by his club Gor Mahia, for what it termed reasonable grounds to terminate his contract after just seven months with the team.
On Tuesday 27 August the club issued a statement, that effectively sacked the legendary forward, citing serious misconduct, poor performance and involvement in politics but in an interview with Soka, Oliech termed it all malicious from the club’s top management.
Oliech, who joined Gor Mahia in January 2019, broke his arm in a league match against Western Stima in May, seeing him end the season on a low as he was ruled out for three months. On Tuesday, Gor Mahia stated that the striker has been absent from training without permission but he says his situation was well clear to the team management.
Two training sessions
As he continued with his recuperation from the injury, Oliech says he attended two training session after removing the protective cast from his arm but was asked by the team doctor to focus on less strenuous exercises to avoid a recurrence of the injury.
“After the team returned from Burundi (from the CAF Champions League game against Aigle Noir), I trained with my team mates for two days then the team doctor assessed me and told me I am not ready to start training vigorously.
“I was advised to take up lighter gym sessions and since Gor Mahia doesn’t have these facilities, I had to find them myself and pay. I only did as per the doctor’s instructions and so the club is just trying to soil my name,” he started.
He says all through his recovery period he was regularly updating the team doctor.
To further water down the Gor Mahia claim, Oliech confirms that he was paid his salary on Friday 16 August so he wonders how come the club would still pay him yet it claims he is ill – disciplined and absent from training.
Just before his deal was terminated, Oliech says, he had reached out to the club’s treasurer, sally Bolo, to avail funds for a scheduled review of his healing arm at the German Medical Center but that was not granted, only to bump into news of the termination.
Despite all the decisions being made on his career, the striker says nothing was mentioned to him, neither he was not given a chance to explain anything concerning the accusations.
“It is all malicious. I wanted to go to Upper Hill with the doctor for review, but the treasurer did not process the funds needed and neither did she explain to me that she wasn’t in a position to. Furthermore, the club management did not call me to explain all these or at least seek my side of the story.
“I have played football for 25 years so why would I want to miss a one – hour training session and yet I am paid a salary? After training I have all day to do my stuff, so I have no reason at all to miss training,” he added.
Interest in politics
Gor Mahia also cited Oliech’s interest in politics as a reason for termination after a poster with his image, and donning the club’s jersey was construed to demean the club. Oliech says the poster was not his creation, and neither is he interested in any political position.
He noted that at first he saw it as a joke and even shared with a few friends at Gor Mahia, for a light touch. That however, would backfire badly.
“Everyone who knows me knows too well I can’t go into politics. I am not a politician because I am not a liar. Those people thrive on lies and in my life I have never given a thought to that. Furthermore, I don’t even come from Kibra, so why would I go to vie there?
“What happened is, at 11am yesterday (Tuesday 27 August) a friend sent me the picture on Whatsapp and I found it hilarious. I thought I could share with friends so we can laugh together. It was all a joke, but as soon as it went out there, the club gave it a different spin and look at where we are now,” he remarked.
Respect Gor Mahia
Oliech says he has tried reaching the club CEO Lordvick Aduda for explanation but the latter hasn’t answered or called back. He says he called treasurer Sally Bolo and explained his side of the story and is hoping for an amicable solution.
“I have played this game for many years at a very high level. I respect Gor Mahia and I respect the team’s fans too. I have one year and some months remaining on my contract; how stupid can I be to leave the team to try and vie for a political position, and especially without a guarantee of winning?” he quipped.
The striker scored five league goals in the 2018/19 season, having joined the team while the season was underway.