Economy

State probes Nick Mwendwa over Sh245 million AFCON cash

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FKF President Nick Mwendwa. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • State Department for Sports has opened an inquiry into how Football Kenya Federation (FKF) spent Sh244.6 million on Harambee Stars 2019 failed African Cup of Nations Championships (AFCON) qualifier games.
  • Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo told MPs on Tuesday that it has invited the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to launch investigations into how FKF chairman Nick Mwendwa was advanced Sh11 million out of the money.
  • Mr Okudo said the Sh11 million advanced to Mr Mwendwa was hived off the Sh244.6 million that the State transferred to FKF for AFCON preparations.

State Department for Sports has opened an inquiry into how Football Kenya Federation (FKF) spent Sh244.6 million on Harambee Stars 2019 failed African Cup of Nations Championships (AFCON) qualifier games.

Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo told MPs on Tuesday that it has invited the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to launch investigations into how FKF president Nick Mwendwa was advanced Sh11 million out of the money between April and November 2019 without requisite authorisation.

Mr Okudo said the Sh11 million advanced to Mr Mwendwa was hived off the Sh244.6 million that the State transferred to FKF for AFCON preparations.

The DCI is also probing Sh57 million in allowances and bonuses to Harambee Stars players and technical bench who travelled for AFCON camps in various countries that were not supported by approved rates.

The Sports Fund disbursed Sh244,587,705 to the FKF during the year under review for the Harambee Stars AFCON championship 2019.

The expenditure was used by Harambee Stars during its camp in France and Spain in the run-up to the continental assignment in Egypt.

“The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Sports and Heritage has also subsequently written to the Registrar of Sports to undertake a thorough financial audit of all the accounts of the Football Kenya Federation,” Principal Secretary Joe Okudo told MPs.

Mr Okudo told the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the Department has put in place a team of two auditors from the Auditor General’s office, two from the private sector, and officials from the ministry to probe the accounts of FKF.

“We have also engaged and secured the backing of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) in our investigations. Federations have been hiding behind the threat of ban for government interference in sports federations,” the PS said.

He told the Opiyo Wandayi-led committee that FIFA has given Kenya the go-ahead to move into FKF, probe its accounts and reconstitute it to ensure proper management of sports.

“We wrote to the DCI on October 15, 2019 and there has been back and forth because the FKF rushed to court to stop the probe. However, the court two weeks ago allowed the DCI to move into FKF saying the federation has a case to answer,” he said.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu flagged the payments in the State Departments' books of accounts for the year to June 2019.

The auditor said the payments were made to Mr Mwendwa between April 25, 2019, to November 29, 2019.

“In the circumstances, it is not possible to confirm the validity of Sh11 million paid to the President,” Ms Gathungu said.