Athletics Athletics

Wario,7 others to be prosecuted over Rio mess

Former Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts Hassan Wario. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has directed the prosecution of former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario, ex-Principal Secretary Richard Ekai, former National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) Chairman Kipchoge Keino and Chief de Mission Stephen Soi be charged over misappropriation of Sh55mn at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In a statement the DPP said the 4 together with Harun Komen (Former Director of Administration, Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts), Francis Kanyili (Secretary General, NOCK), Patrick Kimathi (Former Finance Officer, Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts) should face the six counts of abuse of office and 4 counts of willful failure to comply with laws relating to the management of public funds contrary to the Anti-Corruption and Economics Crimes Act.

Ekai has already been arrested by detectives as the process of arraigning them continues.

The DPP statement states that the seven may have overseen the embezzlement of Sh22.4mn, purchase of air tickets which were not utilized amounting to Sh16.8mn, overpayment of allowances amounting to Sh15.9mn and incurring expenditure on unauthorized persons amounting to Sh6.5mn

Haji has given the seven up to Monday to surrender themselves to the Director of Criminal Investigation Headquarters.

-Asset recovery

The DPP has also directed the Asset Recovery Agency to begin recovery of public funds which was used by the suspects in unlawfully facilitating unauthorized individuals with air tickets and allowances to travel to Rio.

The DCI has further been directed to commence investigations into donations made to the NOCK and contracts between NOCK and NIKE and the utilization of monies realized there from.

In 2016, Wario, then Sports CS, set up a probe team which revealed that top officials in the Sports ministry had embezzled Sh88mn meant for air tickets to the games and recommended the prosecution of those found culpable.