Nairobi, Kenya – 1st September, 2016: Like many Kenyans who have been following the latest scandal in the country, the National Integrity Alliance (NIA) and the Centre for MultiParty Democracy (CMD-Kenya) are deeply concerned by the on-going revelation of negligence, nepotism and outright theft of public monies by public officials charged with the responsibility of managing the team of athletes who represented Kenya in the just concluded Olympic Games in Brazil.

WE HOLD that the top leadership in the Ministry and sports management must take full political, financial and ethical responsibility. Their actions have brought shame and disrepute to Kenya among the community of nations, local and global sports sponsors like Nike.

WE BELIEVE that singularly and collectively, these acts of omission and commission have not only resulted in the misuse and loss of public monies but also compromised the capacity of our athletes to perform better and deliver superior sporting glory for Kenya in Rio Olympics.

WE NOTE with growing concern that the current revelations continue a now well-established tradition of high theft, abuse of office and diversion of public resources into private pockets, fueled by a culture of impunity, zero punishment for obvious offenders and reward for the corrupt. 

WE RECALL that though bigger and deeper, the current scandal follows faithfully in the footsteps of similar mismanagement of #TeamKenya in Beijing (2008), London (2012) and the All Africa Games in Maputo (2011) and Brazaville (2015). In all these places, heroic efforts and sacrifice of Kenyan sportsmen and women continue to be betrayed by institutionalized incompetence and outright greed by those charged with this greater national responsibility of care. We are saddened that recommendations from a Parliamentary Report on similar incidents during the Maputo and London games are yet to be implemented.

WE ARE ESPECIALLY CONCERNED that unless swift, decisive and ruthless action is taken against continued theft and mismanagement of spors and our sports persons, a bigger national shame awaits Kenya as we prepare to host the World Youth Athletics in July 2017. The State and all stakeholders must act now to stem the tide of high corruption in sports.

We acknowledge swift action already taken by the Directorates of Criminal Investigations and Public Prosecutions to arrest and charge five top officials of NOCK over the diversion of official sports kit donated by NIKE. While commendable, we submit that investigations on the theft of sports equipment do not address the core of the Rio Olympics scandal.

In view of this, the National Integrity Alliance makes the following demands:

  1. That the newly established Probe Committee publically disclose the full verified list of athletes, support staff, Members of Parliament and all non-essential travelers that went to Rio at tax payers’ expense;
  2. That the Directorate of Criminal Investigations casts the net of current investigations wider than the top leadership of NOCK to include spouses, children, friends and other such unauthorized individuals who benefited from the #JoyrideToRio at the expense of legitimate athletes and essential staff;
  3. That the Probe Committee, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission investigate Cabinet Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario and Principal Secretary Richard Ekai alongside the leadership of National Olympics Committee including Chairperson Dr. Kipchoge Keino for acts of omission and commission including their potential roles in abetting nepotism, undue interference with the official Accreditation List and failure to exercise leadership;
  4. That the Office of the Auditor General commences and makes public an immediate forensic audit of all expenditure incurred for Kenya against monies received from national government, select county governments and corporate sponsors;
  5. That in line with the November 2015 Presidential Executive Order, the Asset Recovery Agency institutes immediate mechanisms to recover from the said officials and private individuals all monies spent irregularly including cost of air tickets, food and accommodation and any allowances paid to all non-essential travelers;
  6. That the top leadership of the National Olympics Committee including Chairperson Dr. Kipchoge Keino resign in accordance with Chapter 6 of the Constitution;
  7. That Dr. Hassan Wario and Richard Ekai, the Cabinet and Principal Secretaries respectively in the Ministry of Sports & Culture unconditionally and immediately resign, failure to which we shall institute legal proceedings for removal from office and commence private prosecutions against the said individuals. Their conduct has fallen short of the spirit of Chapter 6 of the Constitution.
  8. In the same vein, we call upon President Kenyatta to appoint a fit-for-purpose individual with better understanding of the positive power of superior sports management and its transformative promise to Kenyan youth, economy and society.

Finally, we call on all Kenyans to maintain civic vigilance, pursue accountability and blow the whistle against corruption. The constitutional promises of integrity and public participation enrolls all of us in a new spirit of active citizenship that is necessary if we are to detect, deter and disrupt corruption and its networks.

For this reason, we thank individual journalists, bloggers, KenyansOnTwitter (#KOT), our athletes and all who chose to speak as whistleblowers to bring this unfortunate incident to light. We are grateful to you all. #INAWEZEKANA!