NewsActivists Threaten Legal Action Over Paris Olympics Expenditure

Activists Threaten Legal Action Over Paris Olympics Expenditure

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Ruto

With just 17 days to the Paris Olympics, three activists have demanded full transparency from Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba regarding non-athletes accompanying the official Kenyan delegation at the global event.

The trio—Charleen Njuguna, Jolly Lanji, and Bevalyne Kwamboka—have issued a seven-day ultimatum for Namwamba to release detailed information on the matter, threatening legal action if their request is ignored.

The three, have sent a demand letter via their legal representatives, calling for a comprehensive list of all non-competitive participants travelling at public expense.

They also demand a clear outline of each individual’s role, their allowances, and the overall cost to taxpayers.

This demand comes in the wake of the Rio Olympics scandal, where sports officials were implicated in the embezzlement of Ksh88.6 million, which had been allocated for air tickets. The money was instead misappropriated by ministry officials, leading to several prosecutions.

In their letter, the activists stressed the importance of transparency and accountability, especially considering the public interest.

Ruto

President William Ruto sharing a moment with the Olympics team.
Photo
PCS

“We act for Charleen Njuguna, Jolly Lanji, and Bevalyne Kwamboka. Our clients are active citizens who, from the Rio experience, are concerned about the true cost of Kenya’s delegation to the Paris Olympics. The Olympics run from Friday, 26 July 2024 to Sunday, 11 August 2024,” the letter read.

Already, 83 athletes qualified for the Paris Games as of June 30, 2024, in disciplines such as athletics, rugby sevens, judo, fencing, volleyball, and swimming.

It remains unclear how many officials will accompany the team, but Namwamba stated during the flagging off of the team at State House on Friday, that there would be no room for joy riders.

“In the spirit of austerity measures, there is no space or room for joyriders in Paris. There is only space for Team Kenya to fly the Kenyan flag,” Namwamba asserted.

He added, “Team Kenya is going to be very lean, but we have provided information to everybody who wishes to travel to Paris. To the governors, members of parliament, and the public, you are welcome to travel to Paris to cheer Team Kenya at your expense.

“Even the government delegation is going to be at the bare minimum. We have to tighten the belt in every space.”

However, the shadow of corruption continues to loom large. The 2016 investigation, led by Paul Ochieng, Dean of Students at Strathmore University, highlighted the misappropriation of Ksh88.6 million by sports ministry officials.

Furthermore, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) was found to have diverted funds and kits from Nike, amounting to Ksh126 million annually since 2013.

Despite a slight dip in performance at Tokyo 2020, Kenya remains Africa’s most successful nation at the Olympics, with a total of 113 medals.

CS for Youth Affairs and Sports Ababu Namwamba during the launch of Talanta Hela on February 2023

CS for Youth Affairs and Sports Ababu Namwamba during the launch of Talanta Hela on February 2023
Photo
Ababu Namwamba

Source: kENYANS.CO.KE

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