KENYA’S SPORTS MINISTER GRILLED BY POLICE OVER OLYMPICS FIASCO

Kenya’ s Sports Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Hassan Wario has been questioned by the Police Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over irregularities during the just concluded Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Wario was summoned for questioning Wednesday following complaints of stealing of uniforms, accrediting bloated list of “joyriders” at the expense of coaches some of whom were left out of the Rio Games and fraud in ticketing.

DCI Director Ndegwa Muhoro summoned him and asked him to help in unraveling the saga. “The DCI called him to help in starting the probe into the complaints by the athletes at large. He did his part and he is not a suspect,” a police officer close to investigations said.

When he arrived at DCI headquarters, he was handed to a team from the Serious Crime Unit which is pursuing the matter and which took his statement.

Sources said Wario blamed the mess on National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) officials who were handling the matter. Among those named and were being sought include Team Kenya’ s chef de mission, Stephen arap Soi, and NOCK deputy treasurer.

The distribution of kits to Kenya’ s Olympic team has come under scrutiny after Nike registered disappointment with the manner in which NOCK officials handled the issue.

Furious Nike officials had sought an explanation from the committee, sparking outrage across social media platforms in Kenya.

Wario told the officers he did not have the list of those who travelled to Rio because the matter was being handled by the NOCK.

Also being sought was NOCK vice-secretary-general James Chacha Maroa and NOCK secretary-general Francis Katana Paul.

There were complaints that more than 200 joyriders travelled to Rio for the just concluded Olympics affecting resources which should have been spent on the athletes, their coaches and managers.

Some coaches were not accredited and had no access to the training facilities where their services were needed, the athletes complained. The DCI team pursuing the matter will also question a number of athletes as part of their probe.

There were complaints of sports kits for athletes being stolen, allowances not paid and the athletes being mistreated in general.

Despite the fiasco, the athletes performed well, winning six gold medals, six silvers and one bronze and finishing in 15th position overall and top among African nations.

Kenya was officially represented by 52 track and field athletes, three boxers, 14 rugby players, one archer, two swimmers, one weightlifter and one judoka and 30 technical team members.

Others included 14 members of the Steering Committee, 14 from the NOCK, seven administrative staff and two officials from Treasury making the total contingent of 178. The the list was bloated further and said to have included relatives and friends with the total hitting 250.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, and opposition leader Raila Odinga have demanded answers on how the Games participation was run.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK