19 October 2016

Kenya: Never Again, Uhuru Says On Rio Mess

Photo: Daily Nation
President Uhuru Kenyatta admires Paralympic athlete Henry Kirwa’s medal during a ceremony at State House.

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised athletes and Kenyans that the mismanagement and shame that rocked Team Kenya at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will never occur again.

Speaking on Wednesday when hosting the triumphant team of Olympians and Paralympians at Nairobi State House, the President said he will follow up on those responsible for the mess that watered down Kenya's best ever performance where they collected a total of 13 medals, 6 gold, 6 silver and 1 bronze.

Three National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) officials; Stephen arap Soi who was the head of delegation, Secretary General F.K Paul and first vice chairman Pius Ochieng are facing charges of theft, abuse of office and bribery and they are expected to return to court October 24 for pre trial hearing.

"I promise you that we will continue to give you the support that you require and the areas where weakness were exposed I'm personally promising you that I will take personal attention to ensure that it doesn't repeat going on into the future," Uhuru vowed.

"When you are out there you are not supposed to think about anything else; the only thing that is supposed to be in your mind is the events that you are participating in not all other these issues and we shall ensure we are working with all the agencies related with the ministries to make sure that we fix this problems."

Kenyatta heaped praises on the team that broke history in some of the events like the women's marathon where Jemima Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win gold in the Olympic event, while Boniface Mucheru Tumuti went against all the odds to bag silver in the men's 400m Hurdles-the first ever Olympic sprint medal for Kenya.

"I want to congratulate everyone who participated in these games for making Kenya proud. You really made us proud, you put Kenya on the map each and every one of you and you truly deserve praise. We are very grateful and Kenyans are very proud of you," Kenyatta told the athletes.

"You lived up to your promise that we shall play and compete clean and that's precisely what happened so I really can do nothing more than to say I'm proud and honoured to be your President."

The Head of State assured athletes that the government will support and facilitate anything that they need to continue doing the country proud.

"I'm sure going forward we will continue to do everything that we can to facilitate and support our sportsmen and women because you are an example of what Kenyans should be."

With the gold medallist awarded Sh 1m, Sh500,000 to silver winners and Sh300,000 to bronze holders, Kenyatta ordered that coaches and each member that participated be rewarded.

@alexIsaboke is a Sports Journalist with Capital FM who hopes to inspire sportsmen achieve their dreams. Find him on the pitch, track, court, course....

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