NATIONALNEWS

Muturi: MPs’ World Cup trip just for benchmarking

Speaker says tour justified as the members are expected to table a report in the House upon return

Parliament yesterday defended the 20 MPs who went to Russia to watch world cup.

Speaking separately, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and the Clerk Michael Sialai said there was nothing wrong with the trip.

In particular, Muturi said the trip was justified as the members will be expected to table a report in the House once they are back.

“It is not a bad thing but they will come back and table their report to Parliament. This is the standard procedure,” he said.

And on the other hand, Sialai said that the members travelled to enable them to understand their mandate.

“We were invited by the Ministry of Sports and Culture to nominate some members to travel and we nominated this one. The trio is part of their mandate, it’s a sports committee and they travelled to be informed and understand the workings of committee,” he said.

According to him, the same committee still travelled to Rio for the Olympics and upon their return, they wrote their report and tabled it in the House.

He disclosed that following the invitation of the ministry, Parliament paid accommodation and per diem of the members who travelled.

“It is proper and therefore not abnormal. It is within their mandate. I don’t know where the problem is because even in Rio we sent a delegation there,” he said.

And Speaking on the phone, Nominated senator Millicent Omanga, who is in Russia, defended herself saying she is there on self-sponsorship.

“I am here on self-sponsorship. I have been going for World Cup from 2002 when it was in Japan,” she said.

The sentiments by the two came just a day after 20 MPs travelled to Russia to attend the World Cup football tournament. Among those who travelled include 14 members of the National Assembly and six senators.

The parliamentary delegation  comprises members of the Committee Sports, Labour and Social Welfare as well as the Parliament’s football Club called Bunge FC.

The six members of the National Assembly include Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town) who chairs the Sports committee, Wafula Wamunyinyi ( Kanduyi), Sylvanus Maritim (Ainamoi), and Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town).

The senators are Cleophas Malala (Kakamega), Aaron Cheruyiot (Kericho) and Judy Pareno (Nominated) are now in Moscow.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja who was supposed to be in the trip cancelled his travel to deal with other issues affecting Nairobi including the ongoing investigations into the Solai Dam tragedy.

The politicians travelled in two batches, one group leaving on July 2 and another on July 5. They are expected to stay in Russia until after the World Cup final on July 15.

The lawmakers travelled at a time accommodation charges, air tickets and food prices have skyrocketed as the world floods into Russia for the World Cup that happens every four years.

Economy air tickets from Nairobi to Russia cost around $4,000 (Sh400,000) at the moment because of the heavy demand during the World Cup.

According to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission ceiling of December 2014, lawmakers in Russia should receive Sh86,200 daily. To provide per diem for 20 MPs in Russia for 12 days it would cost taxpayers Sh20,688,000.

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