On fire Kaberia mum, as Muthee, Muteti trade blames over World U-18 scam

In what is turning out to be startling revelations, the IAAF World Under-18 Local Organising Committee CEO Mwangi Muthee has claimed that Sports Kenya used Ksh 250 million which was meant for the preparations for the international event hosted at the Moi International Sports Centre last year between July 12-16.

In a phone interview with Citizen Digital from London, Muthee claimed that the Ministry of Sports is yet pay the LOC members and the medical team Ksh 80 million in salaries while Sh 153 million meant for suppliers and service providers is also yet to be paid.

According to Muthee, the government gave out Sh 1.7bilion to host the five-day competition, of which they managed to save Ksh 450m and wondered how a staggering Sh 1.7bilion could have been lost.

According to a report by the Auditor General Edward Ouko, the Sports Ministry was allocated a whopping Sh 3.5billion for the competition of which half of it went missing.

Auditor General’s report has sent tongues wagging, pointing to a potential scandal where millions could have ended up in pockets of greedy officials.

“Sport Kenya used Sh 250million which was meant for the LOC. We have been asking the Ministry for the money but they are yet to remit it.

“They (Sport Kenya) said the money was swallowed by Kenya Revenue Authority; while some of them said that they invested it in the stadiums .They give all other types of reasons,” a furious  Muthee said, adding that: “We were very disadvantaged as  LOC because we did not have our own account. Procurement and financing were done by the ministry and Sport Kenya. We did not handle the money directly.”

He went on: “The ministry has been giving us all sorts of excuses. It’s not fair that there is witch hunting. I wish I could reveal all this in public.

However, when contacted, Sports Kenya Chairman Fred Muteti denied handling any of the money saying any financial question should be directed to the Ministry of Sports.

“We had nothing to do with the money as everything was done under the Ministry. Money was done through a cabinet memo; it came from the treasury then to the ministry where it was being managed. We just hired the Kiwanja (stadium) to the Ministry, the rest was their work. Our work is not to host events our work is to manage the stadium,’’ told Muteti, a statement concurring with Muthee’s claim.

According to the former Kenya Rugby Union boss, the LOC never spent any money as all the strings were pulled by the ministry.

“First of all the LOC never spent any money, the people who spent the money are the ministry and Sport Kenya and that is why until to date there are some people who have not yet been paid. I am wondering where the 1.7 billion is.

“The money that went into building of the roads, lighting and putting a bridge at Kenyatta University, was given to us in kind by the Inter-Ministries and the work had value. Nobody wrote the LOC a cheque,” a disappointed Muthee pointed out.

Ministry of Sports Principal Secretary could not immediately comment on the allegations with all fingers seemingly pointed to his desk.

“I cannot say anything for now about this matter for now. This is like an ambush, when I will be ready I will respond,” Kaberia told Citizen Digital.

Meanwhile, the auditor’s report has ignited fire with several law-makers calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to crack the whip.

At a press briefing in Parliament on Wednesday, Homabay County Woman Representative Gladys Wanga called on the president to act tough.

“This is so shocking that between the budget of Sh 3.5 and Sh 1.7 billion shillings, more than half of that budget can’t be located and that can’t be left just like that. We want the President of the Republic Kenya to intervene and ensure that the ones with Sh 1.7 billion are arrested,’’ Wanga said.

Her sentiments were echoed by ANC deputy party leader Kipruto Arap Kirwa who urged the investigative agencies to enhance probe that will see the stolen cash recovered.

”This matter should be investigated immediately. Those who are caught should be arraigned in court and any money that was channeled to other unnecessary things should be returned to the government,” charged Kirwa.

Ouko’s report comes only a month after Kenya was handed the rights by IAAF to host the 2020 IAAF World Athletics Under-20 Championships following a the successful tourney staged in 2017 where  a record 60,000 fans turned up at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

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