Five senators have been cleared to fly to Tokyo, Japan for a 14-day trip to watch the Women’s World Volleyball Championships which starts tomorrow.
The five are Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a), Christopher Lagat (Bomet) and nominated colleagues Beatrice Kwamboka, Victor Prengei and Christine Zawadi.
They will each pocket not less than Sh1.2 million in per diems for the two weeks they will be in Japan. Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has approved the trip.
Tokyo, like Washinto, is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world. According to Parliamentary Service Commission rates, lawmakers are given Sh100,000 per day for their food and accommodation whenever abroad. Parliament pays for their air tickets.
On the other hand, Kenyan players who are participating in championship were each paid Sh80,000 for the three weeks they will be in Tokyo. This means each player will get a per diem of just Sh3,800.
Yesterday, Lusaka did not return calls and text messages seeking his comment.
Kangata who was in Eldoret for official duty said he was unaware of the trip. “I have just learned from the media,” Kang’ata said.
An attempt by National Assembly members was however thwarted by Speaker Justin Muturi who refused to approve a request by five MPs on the account of austerity measures.
The MPs who were led by Webuye West’s Dan Wanyama and Beatrice Kones (Bomet East). They wrote to Muturi asking they be allowed to travel because “the trip was very important for the country”.
Wanyama is a former volleyballer. Muturi is reported to have told off the MPs, insisting the trip was of no value.
“He told them that sending MPs to Tokyo was a waste of time and money especially at a time when taxpayers were tightening their belts,” a source said.
National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai confirmed that Mutiri refused to approve the request.
“They are not traveling. They haven’t been authorised to travel to support or cheer the team. They had made a request but after consultation it was decided they will not travel,” Sialai said.
In June, more than 30 MPs and senators travelled to Russia to watch the World Cup in a move that caused heavy uproar because Kenya was not participating.
Members of the sports committee who were part of the team returned with a plagiarised report.
The Kenya Women’s Volleyball team returns to the FIVB Championship after a seven-year hiatus.
The 14-member team was on non-residential training for two months at Kasarani Stadium Indoor Arena before joining camp on September 4.
They are drawn in a tricky pool D that has former champions Brazil, Serbia, Puerto Rico and Kazakhstan. Kenya qualified for the championship in Cameroon in June last year. Cameroon is the only other African
The Kenyan team left the country last week for a eight-day camp training sponsored by the Kenya Volleyball Federation and the Japanese veteran coach Sadatoshi Sugawara.
Prior to their departure, most players said the government has sidelined the sport despite winning many accolades in recent years.
“We are still wondering why the government is not committed to the sport considering the achievements we have posted. It is unfortunate that everything has been left the federation and sponsors National Oil Corporation,” Team Captain Mercy Moim said.
The team held training sessions in two cities in Hitachi and Kurobe before they arrived in the host city Hamamatsu yesterday ahead of their first match against Kazakhstan on Saturday.