Kenyans to pay millions for botched retreat

March 11, 2010 12:00 am

, Nairobi, Kenya, Mar 11- Prime Minister Raila Odinga caused a stir on Thursday when he said Parliament should foot the bill of the aborted MPs retreat that was to discuss the proposed Constitution in Naivasha.

MPs voted down an Adjournment Motion on Wednesday, thwarting an attempt at scrutinising the proposed Constitution before it is formally debated in the House. It is reported that the taxpayer would have to pay at least Sh100 million shillings to cover for the preparations that had already been made before the last-minute cancellation.

 “The government has three arms but the arm in question is the Legislature. The Motion was moved, debated and defeated by Parliament so it is the Legislature that should be held responsible for the misuse of funds,” Mr Odinga argued on Thursday.

“How can the (Executive) be held responsible yet the Parliament did the booking How hypocritical can honourable member be?”

Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo had told the House that Sh150 million would go to waste resulting from the bookings made in hotels in Naivasha.

“It pains all of us that tax payers’ money is going to waste,” he said.

Speaker Kenneth Marende had earlier told off  “good intended MPs who were passionate of the Naivasha retreat” for failing to be in the House to support the adjournment Motion.

“All of us who believed there was value in Naivasha ought to have been here to go through the process to ensure that the Motion of adjournment is passed. This is a democratic process; political engineering is about being present when it counts,” he said.


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