Economy

Ex-Sports CS escapes jail after paying Sh3.6m fine

wario

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario walks out of the Milimani Law Courts after he was released upon paying a fine of Sh3.6 million. He had been found guilty together with former chef de mission Stephen Soi over the 2016 Rio Olympics fiasco. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Summary

  • Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario, convicted for loss of public funds in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, avoided jail yesterday after paying a Sh3.6 million fine imposed by the anti-corruption court before banks closed.
  • Wario would have been locked up in prison for six years.
  • Outside the court he was received by his immediate family members led by his mother Hawa Wario. They held prayers before leaving.

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario, convicted for loss of public funds in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, avoided jail on Thursday after paying a Sh3.6 million fine imposed by the anti-corruption court before banks closed.

Wario would have been locked up in prison for six years.

Outside the court he was received by his immediate family members led by his mother Hawa Wario. They held prayers before leaving.

He was convicted for three offences of abuse of office by allowing three Ministry of Sports officials to travel to Rio, Brazil in July 2016 during the Olympic Games.

The three are Adan Omar Enow (Director at the Sports Fund), Richard Abura (Assistant Director of public communications) and Monica Sairo (deputy Assistant Director of public communications).

The court said their travel was improper as Wario tinkered with the list of Kenya’s delegation so as to include them leading to a loss of public funds.

Prosecution accused the former Cabinet Secretary conferred a benefit of Sh1.5 million to Enow while Abura and Sairo got Sh918,391 each.

Wario’s co-accused in the scandal Stephen Arap Soi, who was the Chef De Mission of Team Kenya in the 2016 Olympic Games, was not lucky after the court slapped him with a fine of over Sh115 million or he serve 17 years in prison in default.

The retired police boss was found guilty of six counts – three on abuse of office and three on wilful failure to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to management of public funds.

In the judgment, Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma noted that the Kenyan taxpayers lost money as result of the acts of omission or commission of both Soi and Wario.

She said the two were entrusted with leadership of the sports team and to bring good performance from Rio, but in the process the government lost money and this brought the country bad image after the corruption reports.

The magistrate noted that the money, paid as allowances to undeserving persons who did not even travel to Rio, has never been recovered. The court stated that Soi accorded accreditation to a huge group of Kenyans that the office could not manage.

Some of those in the list of the travellers were not even aware that they were supposed to fly to Rio to cheer Team Kenya.

“It is true both Wario and Soi did not receive benefits but the budgets was from the government. The excess of Sh500 million contributed by government is a huge amount of taxpayers’ money that could have been used in other activities,” said the magistrate.

Wario tabled an exaggerated budget of Sh598 million to the government, said the court. “From the conduct and evidence, he worked towards spending without guidance.

A total of seven people were initially charged in the case.