Echesa warns against sexual violation in camps, promises stern action

Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has ordered quick investigations into the alleged sexual abuse cases among teenagers in athletes training camps.

This follows a special  report   that was  published by Citizen Digital and aired  across all the Royal media Services platforms, revealing how young female athletes are allegedly being sexually harassed by  their coaches and officials .

In a press statement, Echesa underlined the government will not rest until the culprits are brought to book, underscoring his ministry’s commitment for fight the vice across all the sporting organizations .

“These sexual abuse reports have deeply saddened me as they contravene the International Humanitarian Law and Kenya’s Sexual Offenses Act of 2006.

An irked Echesa added: “As a Government, we will not allow this kind of conduct to continue .In this respect I have ordered immediate and speedy investigations into the matter.

Echesa also wants federations to come up with elaborate ways to eliminate the crime, noting the sensitivity of the matter demands deliberate action all relevant stakeholders.

The accused coach in the report ran by Royal Media Services outlets,  who also turns up as an athlete, vehemently denied the accusations despite independent investigations by Athletics Kenya (AK) indicating he was a culprit.

Prior to the investigations, AK had sent a strongly worded press release expressing their concerns over complaints emanating from a camp, promising to take stern action once the truth was unearthed.

AK national Chairman in charge of youth Barnaba Korir was in charge of the investigations, and submitted most of the complains of that nature the federation receives come from private camps, set up by ‘quack athlete handlers’.

The AK investigator Elizabeth Keitany said most of the girls had recounted brutal happenings in the said camp, further adding weight in the accusations.

With no action being taken against the accused, a number of senior athletes have discouraged their children from joining athletics after going through a number of obstacles in the industry.

At the same time, London Olympics bronze and 2013 Moscow World champion Milcah Chemos recommended for  stiff penalities for sexual offenders.
Speaking during a phone with Citizen TV’s Waihiga Mwaura on Citizen Extra program on Monday, Chemos said investigations are still going on and any offenders will be recommended for prosecution to the Ministry of Education.
“This is a very sensitive topic and it’s still under investigations. AK is going to follow on the matter keenly and if there is enough facts to warrant further action we will recommend to the Ministry of Education. AK does not prosecute but the findings and recommendations will be added upon the Ministry who are also in the loop.
Additional reporting by Charity Wanja

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