Demos demand Wario, Paralympics boss Maina to step down
The National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) demonstrated outside the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission headquarters on Monday morning demanding Sports Minister, Dr. Hassan Wario and Sports Commissioner, Maina Kiruma to step down from their roles to pave way for investigations.
The protesters accused Maina who was the Chef-de-Mission for the 2016 Paralympics Games and Wario of colluding to misuse 132 million Kenya shillings set aside for Team Kenya Paralympics team in Brazil.
Speaking at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) headquarters in Nairobi, Dr. David ole Sankok, the chairman of KNCP claimed that the Ministry used corruption and intimidation to lock them out and pave way for the misappropriation of State funds.
Interestingly there were no athletes or officials from the Kenya National Paralympics Committee (KNPC) who went for the Games in Brazil present at the demos in what showed the disconnect between the two parties.
Those led by Sankok claimed KNPC officials have been compromised by Dr. Wario when they agreed to hold a separate meeting with the Minister last week.
“I have recorded a statement regarding the Paralympics Fiasco and it is corruption of the highest order. We are happy with the direction EACC is taking and we hope soon those found culpable will be brought to justice.
“We are demanding that the CS Wario to step aside because he was told by Kenyans not to steal from the Paralympics team since there was a lot of corruption in the Olympics Games.
“We did need a repeat of that during the Paralympics Games but he decided to steal in total darkness and that is why there was a media black out during the Paralympics Games,” Sankok alleged after emerging from being grilled by EACC officers.
He further claimed that officials paid millions for services that were available for free at the quadrennial showpiece that ran from September 8-18 in Brazil.
Sankok listed Ksh6,394,500m was allegedly paid for accommodation at the Games Village, Ksh 500,000 for hiring a rowing boat in Brazil and a further Ksh 462,840 for team accommodation after closure of the said Village.
“We a questioning a number of issues including the composition of the Ministry officials who went to Brazil since it’s an activity for persons with disabilities and it is common sense that we be given an opportunity. Why was the Chef-de-Mission able bodied?
“We were almost denied the first gold we won in 5000m T11 because officials who were there did not understand what is required. There was a total Ksh132m that I’m sure that ministry cannot account for,” Sankok charged.
“They also claimed in their budget that they had paid for the rowing boat, village and food. They say they have bought equipment worth Ksh10m and we are yet to see them,” he alleged.
While Sankok was being grilled, NCPD affiliates continued trickling into the compound in small gatherings and discussing various issues before converging into one big group.
They patiently waited for their chairman who was grilled for about two hours carrying placards showing their disgruntlement with the ministry with most of the messages aimed against Maina.
‘Persons with disabilities do not condone corruption!!!! Bring Maina to the Bench!!!!’ one of the placards read while another was printed ‘The Commissioner Maina Kiruma must Go!!!’
While at the EACC, Sankok was accused of paying the demonstrators to travel to the EACC headquarters.
“I do not have money to pay people to come and protest, I’m a humble chairman. I only posted the letter summoning me to the EACC on social media and they came to support me in out of their good will. They are from various regions in the country,” the chair insisted.
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