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State House rejects claims of Sh2.1mn Uhuru cruise ship accommodation

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NOCK chairman Kipchoge Keino (right) and Team Kenya's Chief de Mission to the Rio Olympics Stephen arap Soi when they appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Labor and Social Affairs on September 6, 2016. PHOTO/TIMOTHY OLOBULU
NOCK chairman Kipchoge Keino (right) and Team Kenya’s Chief de Mission to the Rio Olympics Stephen arap Soi when they appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Labor and Social Affairs on September 6, 2016. PHOTO/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7- State House has rejected claims by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) that it paid Sh2.1mn in accommodation aboard a cruise ship in Rio De Janeiro that was never used by its intended recipient, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu says only the Foreign Affairs Ministry would handle such a booking and not NOCK.

He said there was no confirmation that President Kenyatta was travelling to Brazil for the Olympics to warrant any such booking.

On Tuesday, Kenya’s head of delegation to the Rio Olympics Stephen Arap Soi told a parliamentary committee that they booked the cruise ship at a cost of Sh61, 274.18 ($605) a day for 18 days, but it was never utilized.

Soi revealed that he had been given the instructions after holding a meeting with Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture Hassan Wario and his principal Secretary Richard Ekai.

They also booked rooms in a palace for two chairmen of parliamentary committees at a cost of Sh1.3mn which were also not used.

Soi told the committee he had left the issues of accommodation to Wario and Ekai once competition started on August 4 to allow him concentrate on the affairs of the team.

“Whatever transpired after 4th of August, I don’t know. What I know is that at one point the Chairman of Sports Fund and ADAK (Anti Doping Association of Kenya) occupied the Othon Palace rooms. I don’t know when they left because I left that to be the responsibility of the CS and PS,” Soi said.

Among other senior government officials who benefited from high end accommodation in Rio include the chairman of the Sports Fund and Sports Kenya, Solicitor General as well as the controller of budget.

The NOCK officials are expected back before the Parliamentary Committee on Wednesday afternoon where they will answer questions on all matters that arose including uniforms, accreditation and accommodation after the committee scrutinized the documents presented before it on Tuesday.

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