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Reduce trip budget, Raila urges County Assemblies

Dickens Wasonga @PeopleDailyKe

Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga yesterday asked County Assemblies to embrace austerity measures and cut down on the numerous bonding and benchmarking trips.

Speaking in Kisumu on Monday, Raila said such trips were unnecessary at a time when the country is going through challenging economic times, a situation that calls for belt-tightening.

He also asked the Cabinet secretaries and their Principal secretaries to stop travelling First Class while flying abroad as a way to reduce wastage in government.

The ODM leader said the country was facing hard economic times and prudent management of public funds must be adopted.

“While we encourage our people to pay taxes to enable the government meet its financial obligations, it would be morally wrong to just sit and watch public servants extravagantly spending the country’s hard-earned cash,” he said.

Raila said money borrowed by the government to finance development projects had not been prudently used and asked President Uhuru Kenyatta not to back down on the fight against graft to save the country’s battered economy.

He reiterated his earlier calls for the lifestyle audit of public servants whom he said were used to diverting funds intended for government projects into personal development.

“You see some officers who join government while poor but within a short stint in government, they become millionaires.  We must minimise wastage in government and end corruption which is killing this nation,’’ he added.

Echoing Raila’s sentiments, Kisumu Speaker Onyango Oloo announced there will be no bonding or benchmarking trips under his watch. He said the Assembly will craft a policy document to set guidelines on the threshold for such trips.

“We can’t encourage this trend where MCAs just wake up and come up with plans for  bonding or benchmarking trips.We can bond among ourselves during the committee meetings or during the Assembly sittings. The opportunity to interact are numerous, we don’t have to travel.

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