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January 16, 2019

Fury over millions spent on MPs’ Russia World Cup trip

Siaya Senator James Orengo at the World Cup in Russia. /COURTESY
Siaya Senator James Orengo at the World Cup in Russia. /COURTESY

Kenyans have reacted angrily to revelations that some MPs are enjoying the World Cup in Russia at public expense.

The outrage follows yesterday’s expose by the Star that at least 20 lawmakers will gobble millions from the exchequer to foot bills for their lavish trip to watch the global football tournament.

The disclosure triggered fury, with Kenyans demanding the MPs be surcharged and compelled to foot their bills.

The lawmakers’ accommodation, air tickets, daily allowances and match tickets run into tens of millions of shillings.

The matter was trending all day on social media yesterday as Kenyans bashed the MPs saying their trip is a rip-off. “That is an outright abuse of office. The MPs should be surcharged,” activist Okiya Omtata told the Star.

International Center for Policy and Conflict executive director Ndung’u Wainaina said the “unnecessary trip” had once again demonstrated that Parliament is the epitome of political corruption.

He said an independent mechanism to control and oversee huge budgetary allocation to Parliament should be urgently established. “Nobody questions the huge budget Parliament allocates itself, which it ends up misusing like this Russia trip. MPs are paying themselves hefty allowances with no value for money,” Wainaina said.

Suba Churchill, the presiding convener of the Civil Society Reference Group said National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Kenneth Lusaka must give a public assurance that the money will be recovered. “It’s sad that MPs are enjoying themselves while Kenyans feel the pinch of a hard economy,” Chruchill said.

“This is a matter that even the leadership of Parliament must be held to account for.”

Kenya has never qualified for the World Cup. National team Harambee Stars is currently ranked 112 out of 206 nations by football’s world governing body, Fifa.

MPs on the trip include Victor Munyaka, Wafula Wamunyinyi, Sylvanus Maritim, Peter Kaluma and Mohamed Ali. Senators include James Orengo, Cleophas Malala, Aaron Cheruyiot, Judy Pareno and Milicent Omanga.

Read : 20 MPs fly to Russia to enjoy World Cup

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