Anger as Kisumu Speaker and MCAs pocket millions in travel to Rwanda and Austria

Kisumu County Assembly Speaker Anne Adul

Kisumu County Assembly Speaker Anne Adul, some assembly staff and MCAs are on the spot for travelling to Rwanda for an unknown mission.

Yesterday, The Standard established that the speaker, the clerk, the financial officer and a host of MCAs left the country on May 7 to Kigali.

This is their second trip in less than two months. The speaker and six MCAs recently visited Austria and as a result pocketed a total of Sh4.4 million.

The Standard could not immediately confirm the cost of the Kigali trip, but chairpersons of different house committees said they were all kept in the dark about it and that it had jeopardised the operations of the assembly.

ODM chief whip at the assembly Isaya Onyango and the leader of majority said the trip had interfered with operations at the assembly.

“We are waiting for them to come back because at the moment, there are some matters that require urgent attention of the House but are now on hold because the speaker, the clerk and the financial officer are all missing,” said Onyango.

The assembly was forced to adjourn Tuesday and Wednesday sittings after a motion on the county’s budget failed to be debated as a document from the assembly administration was not tabled before the House due to, according to the MCAs, the absence of the clerk.

“The main thing that we should be discussing now is the budget but that cannot take place because the assembly budget is missing.

“We are waiting for them to come back and tell us the reason for the trip and if they were invited for anything or not,” added Onyango.

He noted that according to House procedures, before any trip, the House Privileges and Liason committees should approve the trip.

Benter Ndeda, the chairperson of the Privileges committee said they did not receive any communication over the trip and only learnt about it when the assembly reopened.

“Trips should also be discussed in the assembly but for me I only heard that some people had travelled,” she said, adding that she does not know how much was spent on the trip.

In March, some MCAs protested over the Sh4 million trip to Austria by the speaker and six MCAs.

In a motion tabled before the House, Kano/Wawidhi MCA Moses Ochele termed the trip a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Mr Ochele questioned the purpose of the trip, which he said would hurt the assembly’s budget.

Early this year, all the 49 MCAs travelled to Arusha, Tanzania on a bonding trip which saw each of them pocket Sh260,000 in allowances.

Meanwhile in Siaya, the fate of several bills and unfinished reports remain unknown with only two weeks to recess.

Siaya County Assembly will only prioritise reports on the 2017-2018 budget, Auditor General’s report for the Financial Year 2014-2015 and the former local authorities councillors’ gratuity petition.

The assembly’s Speaker George Okode said review of the standing orders is crucial and must be worked on before they adjourn on June 15.