Kenya charges another sports official over Rio Olympics fiasco
01 September 2016, 22:48
Nairobi (Xinhua) -- Another official of the disbanded
National Olympics Committee Kenya (Nock) appeared in court on Wednesday
and was later released on bail in the ongoing crackdown against those
responsible for the country's team mess at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Nock Treasurer, Fridah Bilha Mulwale Shiroya was released on a cash
bail of 2,000 U.S. dollars after being arrested and placed in custody on
Tuesday night as her colleague and Kenya's Chef-de-Mission to Rio
Olympics, Stephen arap Soi, failed to show in court for a second time
due to illness.
At the same time, the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) said
in a statement that Soi was no longer a serving officer having attained
his mandatory retirement age as the force moved to distance itself with
the man accused to be the main architect of the fiasco that has sparked
country wide outrage.
Soi and Shiroya along two other officials, Nock first vice-chairman,
Pius Ochieng and secretary general, Francis K Paul are facing charges
related to mistreatment of the country's athletes in Brazil,
accreditation of scores of joy riders and theft of official team kit
from American sponsors Nike.
Shiroya appeared before a Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate;
Charity Oluoch who directed her to report to the Directorate of Criminal
Investigations (DCI) on Thursday and twice every week for the next 19
days when her next mention is due after turning down the prosecution's
appeal to detain her for 21 days.
She was also directed to deposit her passport to the court as the
prosecution was granted a warrant to search her shop in Nairobi that
investigators believe some of the kit alleged to have been pinched from
Team Kenya is being stored for sale.
In an affidavit, Police Constable Joseph Owenga said that a search is
yet to be conducted at the offices of the respondent and her shop where
they believe part of the missing kit found its way for sale with
competitors getting a fraction of what they were entitled to.
"A team of investigators are conducting investigations in relation to
possible offences of theft especially of kit for the Kenyan Team to
Rio, abuse of office and neglect of duty and investigations will include
other Government Agencies," Duncan Ondimu prosecuting told court.
The magistrate declined to issue a warrant of arrest to embattled
Chef-de-Mission, Soi after he failed to appear in person for the second
day after missing court on Monday where he was scheduled to be charged
alongside Paul and Ochieng who were also released on a 2,000 dollars
Lawyers representing Soi were directed to table a medical report
before the court on Thursday afternoon after the State applied for a
warrant of arrest against him when they argued that the Nairobi Hospital
he is said to be admitted declined to disclose whether or not he was
hospitalised at the facility.
Earlier, the National Police Service Commission (NPSC), the body
charged with vetting, recruitment and service terms of Kenya's police
said Soi was not part of the force.
The communication said Soi was among 59 officers who had initially
been dismissed by the former Police Commissioner in 2004 before they
moved to court to challenge their removal and where it ruled in their
favor and they were reinstated.
"After the matter was arraigned in court, the commission in
compliance with the court order reinstated the 59 officers in 2013," a
section of the statement read.
"To see him back to service, the Commission conducted a vetting
exercise on Soi as required by its regulations. However, after the
vetting exercise, the Commission found him unsuitable on grounds that he
was insincere," NPSC said.
"During Soi's vetting, they also noted that the officer is
temperamental and inconsistent in character, given his conduct in the
incident where he assaulted a police constable, which is not in
consonance with police discipline," the damning verdict added.
This conduct, according to NPSC, portrayed an officer steeped in impunity.
The statement adds that the commission also analysed records in the
officer's file of promotion being stood over which is further evidence
of his unbecoming behavior.