On Wednesday, Hassan Wario, the former sports minister, and Stephen arap Soi, the 2016 Olympic team commander, were found guilty of embezzling millions of shillings during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Wario, Kenya’s sports minister from 2013 to 2018, was one of six Kenyan officials accused of abusing their positions and misappropriating 55 million shillings ($545,000) at the Rio Olympics.
Wario was found guilty of abuse of office and misappropriation of public funds by Nairobi Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma, who ordered police to detain him and Soi pending their sentencing on Thursday.
Wario was Kenya’s ambassador to Austria when he was arrested in October 2018.
He pleaded not guilty to the six charges levelled against him and was released on a one-million shilling bond.
But the authorities refused to return his passport to enable him to return to Austria and resume his diplomatic duties.
Wario and Soi were found guilty of diverting money and kit from US sports equipment manufacturer Nike worth millions of shillings which were later confiscated from a house in Nairobi’s upmarket Westlands suburb.
The charges covered allegations of embezzlement, the purchase of unauthorized air tickets, overpayment of allowances and expenditure on unauthorized persons, to the tune of 55 million shillings in total.
Corruption is rife in Kenya, with millions of dollars of public funds going missing each year. The country was left red-faced during its 2016 Olympic campaign which also saw athletes’ team uniforms stolen by officials.