18 October 2018

Kenya: Kipchoge Keino, Hassan Wario Expected to Turn Themselves in

Kenya's ambassador to Austria Hassan Wario, athletics legend Kipchoge Keino and two others had until 6am to turn themselves in to the police.

Anti-Corruption Court magistrate Douglas Ogoti on Monday directed them to present themselves before the Directorate of Criminal Investigions (DCI) by 6am on Thursday morning.

The two others are former director of administration Haron Chebet Komen and former finance officer Patrick Kimithi Nkabu in the Sports ministry.

Magistrate Ogoti also ordered that the four to appear before him on Friday at 8.30a.m to take plea on charges levelled against them over mismanagement of funds.

"Failure to present themselves before the DCI, warrants of arrests be issued," said Magistrate Ogoti.

Court had been told that both Mr Wario and Mr Keino were out of the country but were expected to return on Wednesday and Tuesday respectively.

Mr Wario, who is the former sports Cabinet Secretary, is expected to be charged with six counts of abuse of office while Mr Keino, a former chairperson of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya as well as gold medalist, would face one count of that charge.

The former CS is accused of improperly conferring a benefit to six individuals by financing their travel to Rio, causing loss of public funds amounting to Sh5, 846,346.

He allegedly conferred a benefit of Sh1, 506,391 each to Mr Adan Omar Enow and James Gitau Singh.

Mr Richard Bura and Ms Monica Sairo were allegedly paid Sh 918, 391 each while Eunice Kerich and Samuel Njuguna Sh 498, 391 each too.

Four-time Olympic gold medallist, Mr Keino, will be charged with allocating his son Ian Kipchoge Keino $24,960 (Sh2.5 million) for air ticket and allowances during the Olympics.

Mr Nkabu is accused of failing to comply with guidelines on the management of public funds that led to misuse of Sh22, 540,800 while Komen allegedly authorized unlawful payment in excess of $151,500 (Sh15.3 million) as allowances to the members of the Kenyan team.

On Monday, Kenya's ambassador to Russia as well as former sports Principal Secretary Richard Titus Ekai together with ex- NOCK officials Stephen Kiptanui arap Soi and Francis Kinyili Paul were charged over the Rio scandal.

They were however freed on Sh1 million cash bail as well as personal bond of a similar amount.

The court ordered that all the accused persons to deposit their passports before it but are liberty to apply for them if need be.

The court also ordered that should any of the accused persons present any sureties intended to be used to secure their freedom pending trial, they should be verified by the DCI.

But even as the four are expected to be charged, just like three of their counter parts, some legislators on Monday petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to pardon Olympics legend Keino.

Soy MP Caleb Kositany and Turkana Central John Lodepe said Mr Keino should be exempted from the prosecution because he is a legend.

Mr Keino's gold in the 1,500 meters at the 1968 Mexico Olympics paved the way for decades of dominance by Kenyan distance runners.

He was named in the track and field's international Hall of Fame in 2012 alongside the likes of Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

On Monday, he was away in Mexico to receive an award.

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