Sport

Court slaps Sports ex-CS Hassan Wario with Sh3.6 fine, 6 years jail in default

Court slaps Sports ex-CS Hassan Wario with Sh3.6 fine, 6 years jail in default

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario at the anti-corruption court in Milimani ahead of his sentencing on September 16, 2021.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

The ant-corruption court has slapped former Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario with a Sh3.6 million fine, or in default serve six years in jail.

The sentence follows his conviction over corruption and abuse of office in the Rio 2016 Olympics scandal.

While handing the sentence on Thursday, the court also fined his co-accused, Stephen Arap Soi, Sh105 million or in default serve 12 years in prison.

Mr Soi was the Team Kenya leader in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Read: How officials bungled Rio Olympics

Wario's profile

The graft sentencing is the latest blow to Dr Wario, widely seen as a learned and privileged man.

Being from a pastoralist and long marginalised group – the Borana - his appointment to serve in the office of the President at the age of 43 years was a big achievement.

The University of Nairobi graduate joined President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet in 2013 as a technocrat when pastoralist communities were complaining about being marginalised by successive governments.

Bashed

All was well until July 2016, when reports of mismanagement of the Kenyan team at the Rio Olympic games surfaced. Mr Wario was bashed on social media and blamed for the multi-million financial scandal.

Evidence tabled in court shows that he abused his office by ordering the inclusion of three people in the delegation that was to accompany Team Kenya to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The beneficiaries are named as Adan Omar Enow, Richard Abura and Monica Sairo. They travelled to Brazil and ended up as part of Team Kenya.

Mr Wario was so dedicated to his job that he accompanied Kenyan athletes to Rio for the games. Team Kenya returned home with 13 medals - six gold, six silver and one bronze.

The medals are celebrated as Kenya’s best Olympic performance in history, though the athletes returned to Nairobi subdued and with no celebrations. Mr Wario used to attend almost every event that fell under his docket.

Read: Police might withdraw charges against Kipchoge Keino

Left cabinet, low profile

He left the Cabinet in 2018 and was appointed Kenya's ambassador to Austria, only to be dropped in May the following year, replaced by Robinson Githae.

Mr Wario returned to Nairobi and kept a low profile in public and on social media. The last time he tweeted on his official handle, @AreroWario, was on June 13, 2018.

Since he lost his ambassadorial position, he has been a regular visitor to the anti-corruption court in Milimani for the trial of the Rio case.

hassan wario

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario outside Milimani Law Courts on December 6, 2019.

Photo credit: File | Kanyiri Wahito | Nation Media Group

When the trial opened in October 2018, he made a point of avoiding media cameras but he later stopped, perhaps after learning that the interest of journalists in him was not waning.

During the trial, the slim and towering man rarely mingled with his five fellow suspects. When he was not reading a newspaper, he was scrolling through his mobile phone or talking to his lawyer.

Career

Mr Wario’s LinkedIn profile shows that he holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Nairobi and a PhD in social anthropology from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

Between 1995 and 2002, he was the head of ethnography at the National Museums of Kenya. From 2002 to 2007, he was the keeper of anthropology at Horniman Museum in London.

That was followed by stints as curator of African collections at the British Museum in London and as director of museums at the National Museums of Kenya, before being appointed by President Kenyatta in May 2013 as minister for Sports and Culture.

Read: Why some State jobs are a dicey dance for daredevils