MPs question Raila Iran trip

May 27, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 27 – Parliament on Wednesday demanded details of a trip made by Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s  to the United States of America and Iran.

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale sought an explanation from the Foreign Affairs Ministry on whether the trip was official and how much it cost the Kenyan taxpayer.

Mr Odinga left the country last Monday on a two-week trip to the United States and Iran.

“I would like the Minister to clarify whether this tour is it an official government visit or a private political party assignment. Could he also clarify what the real mission of the delegation to the US was?” he demanded.

In the US trip Mr Odinga was accompanied by Cabinet Ministers James Orengo, Dr Sally Kosgei, while Anyang Nyong’o, Fred Gumo, Ibrahim Elmi and Charity Ngilu joined him for the Iran trip.

Dr Khalwale added: “I want the Minister to tell the House whether the US President Barack  Obama snubbed the PM and if he was snubbed what was the reason behind it.”

An itinerary released by the PM spokesman Dennis Onyango, before his departure stated that the PM was slated to deliver a lecture to graduate students at the Northwestern University Business School in Chicago on the ‘Leadership in times of crisis’.

The PM addressed the Chicago Global Council on the burden climate change poses to Kenya and to spell out how Kenya is dealing with the environmental.

Mr Odinga also spoke on the reform agenda and investment opportunities in Kenya.

The PM presided over the graduation ceremony at the State University of New York and deliver an address on Governance and Transitions in Africa.

Dr Khalwale asked the government to clarify whether the Iran trip will have any tangible benefits to Kenya.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula is scheduled to give a ministerial statement on the issue next Tuesday. 

The PM arrived in Tehran, Iran on Tuesday for a two day official visit where he held bilateral discussions with Iranian President Dr Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister Press Service, Kenya’s Ambassador Ali Abbas elaborated that the purpose of the visit is to further strengthen the existing good relations between the two countries and also to fastrack the various memoranda of understanding and agreement.

The envoy further said the volume of trade between the two countries had significantly dropped particularly in tea exports following Iran’s decision to introduce good manufacturing practices.


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