NOCK top brass arrested as noose tightens over Rio fiasco

By alex wafula
Aug 27, 2016
  • Margaret Nyairera is given a traditional welcome as the last batch of athletes arrived back from Rio. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Wesley Korir, the Kenya team captain who was vocal about the way athletes were treated before and during the Olympics. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

When President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement early this week that ‘questions must be answered’ over the mismanagement of Team Kenya to the Rio Olympics, he meant exactly what he said.

On Wednesday, Sports, Arts and Culture cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario was summoned to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to answer queries on what happened.

On Friday, three top men at NOCK were arrested and detained at the Muthaiga Police Station for questioning pending further investigations.

NOCK Secretary General FK Paul who had arrived unannounced early was picked up at his residence by officers from the DCI while Team Kenya Chief de Mission Stephen Arap Soi and the team’s Chief Executive Officer James Chacha were arrested moments after arriving from Rio de Janeiro.

According to a source privy to the happenings, Chacha and Soi were approached just after getting into the arrivals lounge and taken aside where they were informed of their fate. Only their luggage came out of the lounge but it was picked up by another group of DCI officers to accompany them to Muthaiga.

Sports News Arena has learnt that President Uhuru Kenyatta is keen to see action taken on whoever is implicated in the ongoings that blotted Kenya’s image in Rio.

The instructions to arrest the three have been given by the DCI as a probe into Kenya’s woes in the South American country deepens.

Team captain supports arrests

Meanwhile, team Kenya captain Wesley Korir, also the Cherangany Member of Parliament has supported the arrest of the three, talking of tribulations the athletes faced straight from the trials in Eldoret to the actual games in Rio.

“This has been the best Olympics ever for us, but has been a disaster in the aspect of organization and officials. As Kenyans were competing to win medals, our officials were competing to be the worst organized in the world,” a dejected Korir said after arriving from Rio.

He has also alleged a dictatorial attitude by Soi, saying none of the officials could do anything for the athletes without his consent. He has also hinted he and his fellow athletes will sue NOCK for ‘endangering their lives’ after they were forced to spend their final night in Rio in a slum.

“It was a one man show where Soi controls everything. Even Chacha who is supposed to be Soi’s deputy doesn’t’ know anything. That is where they started failing. If Soi is not there, nothing goes on.

“The day we were to leave the village, we were sent out at 10 a.m. and we sat in the bus until 4 p.m. because Soi was not there. That was the biggest problem. Everybody is afraid of him; no one wants to ask him anything. He is a dictator that nobody wants to talk to,” Korir alleged.

“They didn’t know I was still there on the final day. I decided to stay because I heard those were the days when the athletes are greatly mistreated. When Soi came in after being told athletes have refused to get off the bus, he asked who was there and when he was told it was me he commented ‘kwani haka kamtu bado kako?” Korir claimed.

Motion of impeachment

He also did not leave out Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario off the hooks, adding he will be filing a motion of impeachment when he gets back to parliament, alleging Wario knew of the mess in Rio and did nothing about it.

“I have already talked to MPs and told them we need to change. The CS has to go. He was there and did nothing. Even when we were being taken to the slum, I called him and he didn’t pick. My recommendation is we get a new person who knows what he is doing,” offered the first time legislator.

Among the issues the team faces in Rio was issuance of uniforms with athletes alleging they never go their entire share. Accreditation and air tickets were also a big issue.