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You’ll pay MPs Sh5m to enjoy Afcon in Egypt

Even before the dust settles on the controversy surrounding a trip by MPs to Russia to watch FIFA World Cup matches last year, a team of 20 legislators has travelled to Cairo, Egypt for the Afcon games.

While the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) will be facilitating five members for ten days, the rest will pay for their two weeks stay in the North African state.

In his report for the year ending June 2018, Auditor General Edward Ouko asked the Sports Ministry to recover Sh2.5 million it paid for two MPs for the Russia trip.

Ouko said the money was irregularly wired to the lawmakers since their expenses were supposed to be catered for by PSC.

When travelling on official business, MPs are each entitled to daily allowances of around Sh100,000. This means the five MPs in Egypt will be paid Sh5 million for the ten days stay.

The trip comes at a time when MPs have been complaining over low pay prompting them to award themselves house allowance which has since been contested by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

Questions will also be raised as to why they have opted to travel at a time when Parliament is set to debate on the crucial Appropriation Bills tomorrow.

Those already in Cairo are Dan Wanyama (Webuye East), Otiende Amollo (Rarieda) and Tom Kanjwang’ (Ruaraka).

The team under the sponsorship of Parliament include Wanyama, Faith Gitau (Nyandarua Woman Rep), Benard Shinali (Ikolomani), Mary Wamaua (Maragua) and Japheth Mutai (Buret).

National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai, while confirming the trip, said Parliament was facilitating the five as captains of different disciplines in Bunge Sports Team.

“It is true that we are sending the five captains of our Bunge Sports team to Egypt for the Afcon tournament,” said Sialai.

He, however, clarified that the five will be in Egypt for the duration that the national team, Harambee Stars, will be playing.

But the rest of the travelling party will be in Cairo for the entire three weeks of the tournament.

Speaking from his Cairo hotel, Wanyama said the MPs were in Egypt to cheer the national team.

“We are here to cheer and give the team the much-needed morale support as they play,” Wanyama told People Daily.

Another MP in the travelling party, Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay) said the tour has been organised by Bonfire Adventures, a tour operator. Kaluma said MPs were contributing Sh250,000 each for the trip, adding that everything was being organised by the tour operator.

The latest report for the year ended June 30, 2018 states that the Sh2,461,872 payments were based on requests from the Clerk of the National Assembly.

The trip by a 20-member delegation was greeted by public uproar with Kenyans protesting that there was no value for money in flying the MPs to Russia.

Eight MPs represented the Sports Committee among them Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Chris Omulele (Luanda), Jones Mlolwa (Voi). Others were Shinali, Wanyama, Sylvanus Maritim (Ainamoi), George Sunkuiya (Kajiado West) Charles Nguna (Kitui West) and one staffer, Fred Otieno.

Senators Cleophas Malala, James Orengo and Millicent Omanga were also in Russia.

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