The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: MCAs' Trips Aim to 'Finish County Funds'

KISUMU county residents have asked the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to probe MCAs trips abroad.

They said the trips are unnecessary and a waste of public funds which should be channeled to other development activities.

It has emerged that the MCAs are rushing to spend the money left in the county assembly accounts before the end of the financial year.

The MCAs have several times been accused of misappropriating county funds on unnecessary trips abroad.

An MCA who declined to be named said the aim of the trips to Israel, Singapore and China was to clear the funds in the accounts.

Currently over 10 MCAs including the County speaker and clerk are in Singapore for benchmarking purpose.

The MCAs left on Sunday after the arrival of their colleagues from Israel. Those who travelled to Israel include members of the Agriculture Committee, assembly speaker and clerk.

Others include committee chairman Maurice Ondiek, Joseph Abiola, Beldine Osok, Pamela Odhiambo, Samwel Ombogo, Prisca Misachi and officers in the Sergeant-arm department.

Another group of MCAs will leave for China on Monday.

The three trips will approximately cost the taxpayer more than Sh30 million.

Kisumu City Residence Voice chairman Audi Ogada has accused the MCAs of engaging in unnecessary trips instead of focusing on county development.

"Why are the MCAs focusing on overseas trips as the financial year comes to an end?" he said.

Speaking to the Star on the phone yesterday, Ogada cited the trips as a form of theft, corruption and mismanagement of public funds that need investigation.

He said the MCAs are being induced by the county government to compromise their oversight role.

"It is in public domain that many activities such as illegal tenders and the building of new assembly chambers are questionable," Ogada said.

He asked Governor Jack Ranguma to stop such unjustifiable trips in order and allocate the money for other crucial projects. "It is very sad that Kisumu is lagging behind in development. The city is in total darkness, poor drainage system and uncollected garbage," Ogada said. Speaker Ann Adul last week said the five-day benchmarking in Israel was to enable MCAs to learn new technology on agriculture.

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