The Star (Nairobi)

7 June 2014

Kenya: MCAs On Sh30 Million 'Unnewsworthy' Trips Abroad

ABOUT 16 Kisumu MCAs left the country for Israel yesterday amid public uproar on foreign trips. After returning, another 25 will leave for China to benchmark while 10 others will go to Singapore later this month.

The three trips will approximately cost the taxpayer more than Sh15 million. Those traveling include members of the Agriculture Committee, assembly speaker and clerk. The speaker Ann Adul said the five-day benchmarking in Israel will enable MCAs to learn new technology on agriculture.

Others include committee chairman Maurice Ondiek, Joseph Abiola, Beldine Osok, Pamela Odhiambo, Samwel Ombogo and Prisca Misachi. Adul declined to disclose the amount of money allocated for the three trips.

"Why do you focus on Kisumu MCAs' trips as media," she said when the Star contacted her on the phone. Adul said the foreign trips are not newsworthy. Acting Finance executive George Ongaya said he is unaware of the trip.

He questioned the source of the money as the National Treasury has not released funds. The MCAs have severally been accused of misappropriating county funds on unnecessary foreign trips abroad.

"After the trips, let us be told what the MCAs have learnt and the benefits residents will receive. It is good to benchmark and learn," Joel Otieno, a resident said. He said residents will storm the county assembly and governor's office if public funds are spent on unnecessary trips.

The county has been on the spot over a private trip to Germany for 11 MCAs who were paid Sh33,000 each a day. Last year, 47 MCAs spent Sh7.5 million on a six-day study tour to Uganda.

According to the August 6 hansard, the assembly approved Sh694,847 for Adul to attend the National Conference of State Legislature in Atlanta, Georgia between August 11 and 15.

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