Kenyan ambassador to Austria ordered to surrender to police

Wario served as Sports Minister during the time of the alleged scandal. Photo: online By Fauxile Kibet

The Kenyan ambassador to Austria Mr Hassan Wario has been given until Thursday to surrender himself to police to be questioned over his role in misappropriation of $545,905, which had been set aside for the 2016 Rio Olympic games.

Mr Wario, who was Kenya’s sports Cabinet Secretary during the period leading to the Rio Olympics before he was appointed ambassador was summoned alongside former National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chairman Kipchoge Keino to answer to the claims of funds misuse.

On Monday, other officials Richard Ekai, then Kenya’s Permanent Secretary in the sports ministry, NOCK secretary general Paul Kinyili and head of mission for the Kenyan team Stephen Soi were charged in a Nairobi court on similar charges but pled not guilty.

The Kenyan sports officials face charges which include; making unauthorized payments, over-payment of allowances and purchasing tickets worth 220,000 USD, which were not used by athletes or officials in the trip to Rio, which saw several genuine athletes miss air ticket and training kits.

Mr  Ekai, Soi and Kinyili were freed on a cash bail of 10,000 USD each and denied to travel abroad until the matter is cleared. Ekai, was to report to his new post in Moscow.

Wario and Keino, a sports legend and former Olympic champion, are out of the country and are due to appear in court on Friday to also face charges of office abuse and misappropriation of funds meant for Rio Olympic Games.

The prosecution of sports officials in Kenya is part of a large scheme by President Uhuru Kenyatta to crack down on rampant corruption in his government, which has been racked as among the most corrupt globally.

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