What you need to know:
- The bulk of the joy riders came from the government, National Olympic of Kenya Executive Committee and their relatives.
- The entire NOC-K executive committee of 13 members was in Rio with the government sending 33 officials led by the Sports, Arts and Culture Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario.
- Each member of the Kenyan delegation received Sh1 million each as overseas allowances.
- The new Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge returned home on Thursday with no official in sight to welcome him.
- There are several people in this list who are no associated with sports, government or NOC-K.
The government spent over Sh150 million on allowances to send over 100 officials and athletes to the Rio Olympic Games.
The bulk of the joy riders came from the government, National Olympic of Kenya (NOC-K) Executive Committee and their relatives, official documents reveal.
The entire NOC-K executive committee of 13 members was in Rio with the government sending 33 officials led by the Sports, Arts and Culture Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario.
At least 12 of them missed accreditation on time and received their visas in Brazil. Their accommodation and that of dozens of others was footed by the government outside the Games village.
Each member of the Kenyan delegation received Sh1 million each as overseas allowances. Local stipends for track and field athletes and rugby players were met by the county government of Uasin Gishu and Nandi.
On July 19, three weeks after the National Olympic Games trials in Eldoret ascertained how big the Kenyan contingent would be, Stephen Muthama, writing on behalf of the Sports ministry Principal Secretary Peter Ekai, informed the Sports Kenya Director General that the allowances for the entire delegation to the games would cost $1,502,850 (about Sh150 million) during their stay in Brazil.
He attached a list of 97 people from NOC-K’s Chef de Mission, Stephen arap Soi, together with their bank details. But he noted: “However, the schedule of bank details is not complete. Please expedite on the available ones. The remaining will be forwarded as soon as they are availed.”
He made this request to Sports Kenya because the ministry’s internet banking system had not been activated. He also added that the advance party of government and ministry officials would depart for Rio on July 24, nine days before the opening ceremony.
KICKED OUT OF VILLAGE
The joyriders therefore accorded between three to four weeks stay in Brazil with the last batch of officials and athletes, who were kicked out of the Games Village for overstaying, arriving back home on Friday, five days after the closing ceremony last Sunday.
The rugby teams and athletes were restricted to between 10 days and two weeks stay. But most athletes chose to remain home to avoid being affected by the climate in Brazil.
The women marathon runners returned immediately after their race while the men left Kenya five days before their August 21 race.
The new Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge returned home on Thursday with no official in sight to welcome him.
The Sports Ministry took the bulk of the joyriders, including four from Wario’s office.
The Minister’s itinerary was arranged separately as he had other prior official engagement enroute to Rio. The sports fraternity has questioned the reasons of the huge delegation, which included officials from the Kenya Anti Doping Agency, Sports Kenya and Registrar of Sports. NOC-K locked their offices and travelled with almost all their staff.
Six other names were listed as coming from the organisation. Fifteen officials, including the minister, Soi, NOC-K President Kipchoge Keino and his secretary general FK Paul, travelled business class. Their children - Martin Keino and Francis Kinyili - were also part of the Kenyan delegation.
There are several people in this list who are no associated with sports, government or NOC-K.
The government had budgeted Sh228 million for the Games with the bulk of the money going towards air tickets and hotel accommodation for the ‘excess travellers’.
The athletics’ technical officials, who were listed to stay in the Games Village, including John Anzrah, who was deported after sneaking into the facility using a borrowed accreditation badge of an athlete to access the dining hall for free breakfast after arriving late in Rio, was one of the officials who were scheduled to depart Nairobi on July 31 and return on August 24.
Most officials in the sports fraternity who did not wish to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter have asked Wario to deal with NOC-K officials who have been associated with the mess and embarrassment in Rio as individuals and involve all the 26 association affiliated to NOC-K.
They point out that none of the affiliates were given junkets by NOC-K. They have been calling for a comprehensive change in the committee.
“They are only 10 members in the NOC-K executive committee and Kenya should not suffer because of their mistakes,” said one official.
They have proposed to the minister to call for a stakeholders meeting with a view of first addressing the skewed NOC-K constitution which gives the incumbents voting rights.
With a 10-vote head start they only need four votes to perpetuate their stay in NOC-K.
Sharad Ghai, the former chairman of the defunct Kenya Cricket Association (KCA) said change is inevitable. Ghai and like-minded people determined to bring change in NOC-K masterminded one of the most fiercely fought campaigns in history.
They had fronted former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth to take over NOC-K in 1997 with a vision of making Kenya’s Olympic movement a multi- million-dollar money spinning machine after successfully brokering huge sponsorship for football and cricket. But the incumbents ganged together and locked them out.
Already, despite issuing threats of IOC banning Kenya, sports people have cited the IOC’s 128 session last year when the committee’s president, Thomas Bach, said they were committed to maintaining ethical credibility and staying free of corruption.
“We need to demonstrate that we are indeed walking the walk and not just talking the talk,” Bach said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the IOC’s 128th session in a clear reference to the scandal that had rocked Fifa.
“These are difficult times in sport, as recent events in other sports organisations have all too clearly shown. People today demand more transparency,” he said. The 2016 Paralympic Games will be held from September 7 to 22.
The government approved a budget of Sh137,199,740 million for the games of the physically challenged. However, Kenya’s preparations have been dogged by wrangling over who should be travelling to the Games.
Kenya has sent a team of 28 athletes and their guides, 25 technical officials. However due to the athletes-coaches ration, the ministry proposed to send only five officials who will rotate with the technical bench.
The ministry proposed that the coaches attend the Games from September 11 to 24, while the coaches precede them (from September 1).
The first batch flew out of the country yesterday while the second and last group will depart on Thursday.