Govt used over Ksh370m for Rio 2016 Olympics- Ekai
The Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture used about Ksh376m out of the total Government allocation of almost Ksh500m for the Rio 2016 Olympics, a parliamentary committee sitting heard on Tuesday.
Principal Secretary in charge of Sports, Dr. Richard Ekai, flanked by his boss, Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Hassan Wario, outlined how State money was spent in Brazil as the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare continued its probe into the Olympics scandal.
“The total budget of Team Kenya was about Ksh584m. It was to be funded by the Government and Nock. They supposed to contribute around Ksh84m and the Government around Ksh500m.
“Out of the Ksh500m, the money that has been spent do far is close to Ksh376m.This covered accommodation, both for the athletes and the accompanying delegation, allowances and tickets among others. We shall be able to give an itemized budget later but most of our money was spent on allowances,” Ekai, a former envoy, explained.
The Ministry’s Chief Financial Officer denied claims made by Nock officials made to the Committee earlier that they had given them Ksh29m ‘they did not need’ that was allegedly ferried by Team Kenya Chef-de-Mission, Stephen arap Soi in cash.
“The Ksh29m was factored in the total budget they had given us. How Nock withdrawals the money or disburses it, the Ministry does not know.
“Since it’s through the Nock accommodation is secured, we thought they had their own structures that means they must be paying to certain bank accounts. Nock are the right people to ask how they were withdrawing in cash. If we had sent the money to an individual then that we would have to answer on it,” Ekai charged.
Committee chairman and Matuga MP, David Were, then sought to clarify who set aside Ksh2, 266, 740 for the President in the Nock estimates for Rio 2016 that was supposedly used to have hired deluxe rooms in a cruise ship docked in the Brazilian harbour.
The PS explained the money was not meant for the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, but the president of Nock, Dr. Kipchoge Keino and his Secretary General Francis Kinyili Paul.
“There was no refund on the cruise ship rooms booked, it was booked in advance by Nock last year in March 29. They were deluxe rooms, there is no president who stays in a deluxe room they stay in presidential suits.” Wario told the committee as he denied occupying the cruise ship deluxe rooms.
-Ticket for spouse-
Committee member and Mt Elgon Member of Parliament John Serut, was intrigued by how the Ministry paid an air ticket for a spouse of Soi while vice chair Tila Galgalo asked why the same were set aside for some journalists yet they were funded by their own media houses.
“It’s very difficult to know everyone’s spouse, if someone gives a name and tells you she is a nutritionists I will go by it. Someone must have given me wrong information,” the minister responded.
“It is a culture found in the ministry to carry members of the press. That’s why we have the list with media. It is the least we can do for sports media on rotation,” Wario said on the members of the media who allegedly benefitted from State funding to cover the Olympics without explaining how they were selected or how much the journalists received.
During the previous hearing last week, Nock Chairman Dr. Kipchoge Keino told the Committee, that they had tried in vain to return Ksh8m to the Ministry but they were told their financial officer was ‘busy’.
He added a balance of Ksh2.1m from the initial Ksh4.1m set aside for the medicine was returned by the team’s pharmacist Nancy Njeru.
“The Ksh8m balance they were saying that they were not able to refund has not yet been received. They also have to account for the money that we gave them,” Ekai stated in denying the claim.
Committee member; Hon Daniel Wanyama suggested that since someone was hanging around with Ksh8m, that money should be used as part of the money to reward athletes who won six gold, six silver and a bronze in the country’s best ever performance.
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