Nick Mwendwa Names Dennis Oliech As New Harambee Stars Coach

Just days after being acquitted of corruption charges amounting to Sh38 million, Nick Mwendwa, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss, has announced former international footballer Dennis ‘The Menace’ Oliech as the new head coach for the national football team, Harambee Stars. This comes as a surprise as Coach Engin Firat, who had recently been appointed and signed a three-year contract with the FKF, had only been in charge for three weeks and had led the team in their most recent international friendly match against Iran, which they lost 2-1.

Oliech, who is highly respected in Kenyan football circles, had been a lead striker for the national team for over a decade and played a key role in guiding Harambee Stars to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations Finals. Since retiring from international football, Oliech has kept a low profile and even had a brief stint with Gor Mahia FC. However, he has been pursuing his coaching badges and is excited about his new task.

The decision to tap Oliech is likely to be divisive, and Mwendwa has been guarded in his response to questions about the new appointment, only saying, “Wait for the formal announcement,” which is expected to be made on Tuesday at the FKF headquarters. It remains unclear how the federation will handle the situation with Firat, given its past experiences with paying coaches for wrongful dismissal.

Oliech is expected to build his technical bench with homegrown talent, and former teammates such as Musa Otieno are expected to have a role to play. The move to appoint Oliech is said to be driven by Mwendwa’s desire for Harambee Stars to adopt a more offensive playing style, with Oliech known for his offensive instincts.

The details of Oliech’s contract remain unclear, but it is rumored that he will receive a monthly salary of over Sh800,000. Oliech is expected to be officially unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday at the FKF headquarters.