Kenya’s minister grilled by police over Olympic fiasco
Nairobi, Aug 25 (IANS) Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports Hassan Wario was questioned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over irregularities during the just concluded Rio Olympics.
Wario was summoned for investigations on 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.
DIC Director Ndegwa Muhoro summoned him and asked him to go and help in unravelling the saga, reports Xinhua.
“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 Serious Crime Unit that is pursuing the matter that 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 also NOCK deputy treasurer.
The distribution of kits to Kenya’s Olympic Team has been put under scrutiny after Nike registered disappointment with the manner in which NOCK officials handled the issue.
Furious Nike executive officials 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 NOCK.
Also being sought was vice NOCK secretary general James Chacha Maroa and NOCK secretary-general Francis Katana Paul.
There were complaints more than 200 joyriders travelled to Rio for the just concluded Olympics affecting resources that were meant for the athletes, their coaches and managers.
Some coaches were not accredited and had no access to the training facilities where their services were needed, athletes complained. The team pursuing the matter will also interrogate a number of athletes as part of their probe.
There were complaints sports kits for athletes were stolen, allowances not paid and the athletes were mistreated in general.
Despite the fiasco, the athletes performed well getting six gold, six silver and one bronze and finished position 15 and first in Africa.
Kenya was officially represented by 52 athletes, three boxers, 14 rugby players, one archery player, two swimmers, one weightlifter and one judoka and 30 members of the technical team.
Others included 14 members of the Steering Committee, 14 from NOCK, seven administrative staff and two officials from Treasury making the total figure 178.
But the list was bloated which is said to have included relatives and friends hitting 250.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga have demanded answers on how the issue was run.