Nairobi - Kenya's sports minister, under fire after a series
of scandals and embarrassments at the Rio games, on Thursday announced the
disbanding of the country's Olympic committee.
"I do hereby disband the National Olympic Committee of
Kenya (NOCK) with immediate effect," Hassan Wario said at a press
conference in Nairobi.
Wario, who was questioned on Wednesday by detectives
investigating allegations of corruption and mismanagement relating to Kenya's
Olympics performance, said facilities management parastatal Sports Kenya would
take over responsibility and organise fresh elections to the Olympic committee.
Wario blamed NOCK for the "troubles",
"mishaps" and "mishandling of the accreditation" that --
among other problems -- tarnished Kenya's Olympics.
"These allegations on the National Olympic Committee
pose an immense threat that will adversely affect the stability and reputation
of the Olympic Games in this country," Wario said.
Also read: Administrative ineptitude threatens to hobble Kenya’s track and field athletes
But no sooner had he made the declaration than NOCK
secretary-general Paul Francis, sitting beside him, said the minister had no
authority to do so.
"The cabinet secretary has no powers to disband NOCK
because this is not a government parastatal. We will not vacate office and as
far as we are concerned we are still in office," said Paul.
He added that the Olympics shambles was the responsibility
of the government.
The blame game follows an embarrassing performance by Kenyan
officials even as the country's athletes clocked up their best Olympics yet
with 13 medals (including six golds) putting them in 15th place overall, the
best in Africa by far.
Wario also announced a "probe committee" to look
into the allegations, becoming at least the third senior official to declare an
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