Half of public funding for IAAF U18 World Championships in Kenya is unaccounted for
An audit looking into the use of public funds for the IAAF U18 World Youth Championships shows that half of the $35 million invested has disappeared. Kenyan sports minister is summoned to parliament for an explanation.
When Nairobi, Kenya, hosted the 2017 IAAF U18 World Youth Championships, it was considered a great success. And last month, Nairobi was awarded the hosting rights for the U20 IAAF World Championships with reference to the successful organising of the U18 in 2017.
A recent audit by the Kenyan auditor-general, however, claims that of the 3,5 billion Kenyan Schillings ($35 million) the government allocated for the preparation and staging of the event, Kshs. 1,7 billion ($17 million) cannot be accounted for.
According to the audit’s findings in the event finances, the money has been lost through “procurement irregularities such as single sourcing, unsupported expenditure, unaccounted for medical supplies, lack of documentation to prove expenditure as well as irregular pending bills of about Sh138.2 million”, writes Kenyan news site The Daily Nation about the findings of the report, which they have seen.
Kenyan media have published a list of 80 companies who have been awarded contracts in relation to the event under questionable terms or with nothing to show for their payment.
Principal Secretary for the Kenyan sports ministry Kirimi Kaberia has been summoned to appear before a parliament committee on Monday along with fellow ministerial officials.
"Because of the public interest generated on this matter, they (ministry officials) must come and respond to the queries clearly and fully without fail," said a committee spokesperson according to The Daily Nation. "The figures involved are not ordinary, they are not small, they are huge."
Speaking to the Daily Nation, Kaberia could not confirm the content of the report.
"It's simply not possible, considering the amount of work that was put into the event," Kaberia said. "But, with all sincerity, I'd like to look at the report to give an informed statement. There is really nothing to hide."
Also the chairman of the U18 Local Organising Committee (LOC) Jackson Tuwei was unconvinced by the conclusions of the audit and stated that the financial responsibility was with the sports ministry.
“My LOC didn’t have any account hence we can’t really explain in details if money was misappropriated or not,” Tuwei said according to Daily Nation.
According to an article in Kenya Insights that details some of the scams revealed by the audit, LOC CEO Mwangi Muthee fronted many of the companies that are listed as having received payments as did other top officials from Kenyan sports.
“This circus makes a mockery of efforts to develop Kenyan sport, which boasts huge potential that is, shamelessly, continuously nipped in the bud by officials serially dipping their fingers into the cookie jar,” said an editorial in The Nation about this latest scandal engulfing sports in Kenya.