Kenyan sports ministry officials involved in massive scam

Nairobi, Nov 19 (IANS) Top officials in the Kenyan Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts (Mosca) are facing charges and possible jail time for allegedly embezzling over $870,000 meant for the country’s team to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

This is more than triple the amount said to have been misappropriated by senior National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) official and Team Kenya Head of Mission, Stephen arap Soi who is facing five charges related to the theft of over $254,000 set aside for the team, reports Xinhua.

The fresh allegations are contained in a yet to be released Rio 2016 Probe Committee report that was obtained by local media on Friday that is also calling for Nock to account to the over $1.2 million they have been receiving annually from American sports giants Nike on behalf of Kenyan teams to the Olympics.

The probe team appointed by Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario when he disbanded Nock in the immediate aftermath of Rio 2016 when the scandal shocked a nation with the minister receiving the report on October 28.

Wario has since forwarded it to the country’s president Uhuru Kenyatta who is in the process of making it public and announce what action will be taken against those who are found guilty of misusing funds meant for the team.

“Action to be taken against those culpable in the misappropriation of $870,000 at Mosca and also Nock to account for the 1.26 million dollars per year they receive from Nike on behalf of the athletes,” part of the report in our possession recommends.

Officials in the ministry resorted to withholding payment of members of the probe committee in a bid to compel them to divulge the contents of the report fearing they are adversely mentioned.

“When we presented the report to Wario on October 28, the minister ordered accounting officers to pay us but they have since declined because these officials suspect they are being accused in the report,” probe committee chairman Paul Ochieng said.

“They want to get hold of it to doctor it or line up some form of defence but they should instead seek its contents from the appointing authority who is Wario,” Ochieng added.

His committee spent 37 days working in Nairobi and Eldoret in a bid to get to the bottom of the scandal.

Another report by the Parliamentary Select Committee for Labour and Social Services chaired by Matuga Member of Parliament, Matuga Member of Parliament, is yet to release its report to the same scandal having summoned Nock and ministry bureaucrats led by the CS.

–IANS

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