Kenya MPs rebuff UN seminar

May 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – A Mombasa trip organised by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to sensitize Kenyan MPs on the Millennium Development Goals has elicited criticism from legislators who argue it is wasteful and comes when there are more pressing issues facing the country.

A section of MPs from the Party of National Unity have vowed to snub the two-day meeting. Deputy government whip Johnston Muthama said he would mobilise MPs to skip the seminar terming the trip worth millions of shillings as “unnecessary”.

“When Kenyans are dying without food, money can be found to sponsor the 222 legislators for two days at the Serena beach hotel. Simple calculations will tell you that we are not spending less than Sh10 million,” he complained.

The Kangundo MP said that what the legislators were going to do at the coast could as well be achieved in Nairobi.

“We can meet here in the Old Chambers and save that money. We are saying the time for manipulation of leaders is over.”

PNU had planned to hold a retreat for its members, and Mr Muthama alleged that the seminar was meant to derail them from discussing the controversial maize saga.

Naivasha legislator John Mututho said instead of heading to the Coast this Friday MPs ought to be concentrating on more urgent matters like the maize scam.

“I don’t see the logic of going to Mombasa when I still believe that the maize issue has not been given a fare treatment. Members should have used this time to sort out this deadly issue,” he said.

House Speaker Kenneth Marende had on Tuesday stated that UNDP would bear the full cost of the seminar including air fare and accommodation.


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