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Kenyan Swimming Official May Face Prosecution in Sex Scandal -- September 6, 2003

By Beatrice Obwocha

NAKURU, Kenya, September 5. THE Kenyan swimming official implicated in the sex scandal reported yesterday on SwimInfo during the national junior team’s tour of Zambia early this year should be prosecuted, according to a leading Kenyan lawyer.

The Nakuru lawyer, Sally Mbeche, said the three year-ban slapped on the official was too lenient and asked the Government to institute legal action against him.

"We are talking of sexual abuse of minors here and to protect the rights of children, the official should be taken to court. The rights of children must be protected at all costs and the three year ban from the sport is not enough.

"The official implicated should be taken to a court of law and charged with defilement and indecent assault," said the advocate.

Mrs. Mbeche who is also a child rights activist said according to reports by a probe committee set up by the Kenya National Sports Council (KNSC), the culprit is known.

The lawyer said the official and the four others accused of various offences have tainted the image of swimming as a sport as parents will in future be holding reservations to have their children participate in such games.

"The parents of the innocent children trusted the officials when they allowed them to go to Zambia and I wonder the message they are sending to them ," she wondered.

Two days ago, KNSC slapped a three-year-ban on the five officials who accompanied the team for various reasons, the worst being indecent handling of female swimmers.

The council said they set up a probe committee after parents of the affected children raised the issue.

The official implicated in the sex scandal was also accused of giving alcohol to four young swimmers in his room during the second night of the team’s stay in Zambia.

The action is clearly in breach of of the rules and regulations governing the sport.

He was also accused of keeping the swimmers in his room beyond the agreed sleeping hour.

Among the five officials banned from the sport, the second was found guilty of abdicating his responsibilities, the third of failing to discharge her duties and the other two of lacking "sense of responsibility".