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Parliament summons Wario over Rio debacle

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon when presenting a preliminary report in Parliament, the committee's chairman David Were ordered Wario to appear before them on Tuesday next week to explain what transpired in Rio. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon when presenting a preliminary report in Parliament, the committee’s chairman David Were ordered Wario to appear before them on Tuesday next week to explain what transpired in Rio. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31 – The Parliamentary Committee of Labour and Social Welfare has summoned Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts, Hassan Wario to answer questions over mismanagement of Team Kenya at the Rio Olympic Games.

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon when presenting a preliminary report in Parliament, the committee’s chairman David Were ordered Wario to appear before them on Tuesday next week to explain what transpired in Rio.

The committee wants the Cabinet Secretary to explain among other issues the legitimacy of disbanding the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and transferring its role to Sports Kenya, an issue that can attract a ban from the International Olympic Committee.

“As members, who travelled to Rio, we joined our colleagues in a meeting and we deliberated on the Olympic Games. We gave a brief from the delegation to the committee and deemed it necessary that we need to summon the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts, Hassan Wario to shed more light on the role of the ministry in preparation and management of the team that went to Rio,” Were said.

“We also want him to explain to us the allegations of Team Kenya mismanagement by NOCK as well as on the court cases that has been instituted against the officials. We will also invite other stake holders to appear before the committee concerning the same.”

Were said they are working it out to have a full report that will be tabled in the house for members to debate.

Speaker Justin Muturi ordered the committee to go on with the meetings as scheduled even after the National Assembly goes for recess on Friday.

NOCK officials Pius Ochieng (left) and Secretary General Francis Kanyili Paul (right) appearing in court. PHOTO/courtesy.

NOCK officials Pius Ochieng (left) and Secretary General Francis Kanyili Paul (right) appearing in court. PHOTO/courtesy.

The International Olympic Committee, which firmly stated it will not accept government interference in NOCK, is currently investigating the matter.

On Monday three NOCK officials, Team Kenya’s head of delegation Stephen Soi, overall Team Manager Pius Ochieng and Secretary General Francis Paul Kanyili were released on a cash bail of Sh200,000 each after being charged for stealing and abuse of office, pending conclusion of investigations. Their case will be mentioned on September 19.

The three officials have been accused of misappropriation of funds and the loss of Team Kenya’s official Nike kit.

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Already the Cabinet Secretary has constituted the probe team led by Strathmore University lecturer Paul Ochieng to look into the Rio mess and hand in a report by September 30 on their findings.

Pressure has also been mounting for Wario to resign with Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma gathering signatures from MPs for a motion seeking for the removal of the Sports Cabinet Secretary from office.

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