NAIROBI， Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan Sports Minister Hassan Wario is set to be prosecuted over the scandal in Rio where money and kit for the Kenyan Olympic team were stolen.
According to local reports on Wednesday， Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko wants Wario and the Principal Secretary in his Ministry， Richard Ekai on the dock to answer charges related to abuse of office.
"The persons who should bear the greatest criminal culpability for authorising (or) approving the unlawful payments are the following; Dr Hassan Wario Arero - CS， Ministry of Sports， Culture and the Arts (because he) chaired the Steering Committee meeting in which the budget was presented， and which had allowances which exceeded the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC) guidelines，" reads a letter from Tobiko to the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Ndegwa Muhoro.
The latest development is a fresh twist in the scandal that has seen four senior National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) officials in court facing charges related to the theft of over 100，000 U.S. dollars and kit from American sponsors Nike belonging to the team that went on to post Kenya's best performance at the Games- winning six gold， six silver and a bronze medal.
Wario disbanded Nock on Aug. 25 last year， three days after the Olympics and formed a Rio 2016 Probe Committee whose leaked report cleared him of any wrong doing after 38 days of canvassing the country collecting evidence to unearth the scandal but pointed the finger of blame in the Ministry to Ekai and Nock officials.
However， Ekai protested his innocence saying the report that was presented to the country's President， Uhuru Kenyatta did not pass through him as the principal accounting officer in the ministry and the report is yet to be formally released to the public.
In his New Year's Day address to the nation， President Kenyatta who ordered a probe into the Rio 2016 fiasco promised to bring all the culprits to book as his government struggles to rein in runaway corruption.
According to Chapter 6 of the country's Constitution， any public officer accused of corruption must step aside to allow investigations meaning Wario and Ekai will be forced to vacate office if charges are preferred against them in court.
In the past month， DCI detectives have been interviewing those suspected of benefitting from the proceeds of the money and kit stolen from Team Kenya with more cases lined up to be brought before the country's courts.
Last year， senior Nock officials including Team Kenya Head of Mission at Rio 2016 Olympics， Stephen arap Soi， First and Second vice-presidents， Ben Ekumbo and Pius Ochieng as well as Secretary General， Francis Kinyili Paul were arrested and charged on diverse dates with offences related to abuse of office， misappropriation of money and theft of kit.
Nock Treasurer Fridah Shiroya was arrested but released to be a State Witness with her fellow officials out on 2，000 dollars bail.
Following the scandal， Nock's top brass led by retired athletics legend and two-time Olympics champion， Kipchoge Keino， who was the first ever recipient of the Olympics Laureate Award at Rio 2016 are facing a strong tide to remove them from office.
Last week， the International Olympics Committee (IOC) recommended they be stripped of voting powers rendering them unable to decide the new office bearers in elections set for March under a new Constitution.
On Monday， the Nock bosses agreed to formally cede voting rights at an informal meeting called with affiliate federations who are agitating for their removal amid other reforms to the old order that made it virtually impossible to dislodge them from office.
The amended draft to the new Nock constitution was mailed to IOC later Monday and should the international governing body approves of them， a Special General Meeting set for February will ratify the new set of rules sounding the death knell for the incumbent officials who have been in office for decades.
Perhaps in reading the signs of the time， Ekumbo retired from his post as the chairman of Kenya Swimming Federation last weekend making him ineligible to run for Nock office.
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