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Uhuru pledges to implement Rio probe report

President Uhuru Kenyatta having a chat with Cherengany MP Wesley Korir.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.
President Uhuru Kenyatta having a chat with Cherengany MP Wesley Korir.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4- President Uhuru Kenyatta will receive the Rio Olympics probe report this week, and has already pledged that he will implement all its recommendations.

The report unravels what appears to have been an elaborate scheme between National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and officials in the sports ministry to loot the Sh590 million budgeted for the Games.

The officials are accused of the misappropriation of over Sh88 million meant for Team Kenya during the for Rio 2016 games.

“This report hasn’t yet been handed over to the President. We look forward to it being handed over this week so that the necessary actions that require to be taken can be implemented so that we can put this episode way behind us,” State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu told journalists at a briefing Sunday.

It is understood that the report also want NOCK officials to account for some Sh126 million they receive annually from American sports apparel manufacturer, Nike after the firm submitted their contract with the national Olympics body.

Team Kenya Head of Mission, Stephen arap Soi has already been charged with five counts of theft of Ksh25, 907,705.82 meant for the Olympics but that is now emerging to be less than a third of the figure said to have been misappropriated by officials at the ministry according to the report.

Fellow Nock bosses; Francis Kinyili Paul (Secretary General) and Pius Ochieng (First Vice-Chairman) like Soi are also out on bail on charges of stealing kit from Nike but the sponsorship money and winning bonuses for athletes paid out for medalling at the Olympics are not among the charges.

It also recommends the Sports Act of 2013 to be fully implemented to realise the full potential of sports federations and parastatals, creation of the office of a Sports Ombudusman as well as establishing partnership with a Japanese city with Team Kenya to launch early preparations for Tokyo 2020.

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

In the meantime, a team from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has continued investigations into the matter with a view to bringing to justice people who are responsible for any wrongdoing.

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) 1st vice-chairman Ben Ekumbo is the latest official to be arrested over the Rio fiasco and is currently detained at Muthaiga Police Station waiting to return to Court on Monday.

He was charged with two counts of theft but pleaded not guilty to the charges of stealing Sh1m and kits belonging to Team Kenya.

Despite the challenges faced by the Kenyan athletes from the camp in Eldoret, to travel arrangements and mistreatment in Brazil, the Kenyan team put up a spirited performance to finish 20th in the world by collecting a total of 13 medals, six gold, six silver and a single bronze medal.

-By Joseph Muraya-