World Cup 2018: Kenya outrage at MPs' trip

BY: BBC
Senator Millicent Omanga, Mama Miradi pictured with Croatia fans before the semi-final match against England.
Senator Millicent Omanga, Mama Miradi pictured with Croatia fans before the semi-final match against England.

Kenyans have reacted furiously to news that 20 MPs have travelled to watch the World Cup at the taxpayers' expense.

They are watching four games, including the final, in a two-week trip to Russia estimated to be costing hundreds of thousands of US dollars.

Useful links Ghana Politics | Ghana Celebrity News | News in Ghana

The MPs caught the attention of Kenyans when they posted selfies in a stadium.

Sports Minister Rashid Echesa told the BBC he had authorised only six MPs to travel, to help understand how to organise such big events.

Read also: Croatia President flies economy class to support World Cup team

Kenya have never qualified for a World Cup final and are currently ranked 112 out of 206 nations by football's world governing body, Fifa.


Ghana News Headlines

For today's latest Ghana news, visit Graphic Online headlines page Ghana news headlines.

However, Kenya is one of the world's most successful athletics nations and has submitted a bid to host the 2023 World Athletics Championships.

But many Kenyans thought the trip was a waste of money in a country where the average person lives on $150 (£113) a month.

One of those who travelled, Senator Millicent Omanga, certainly seemed to be enjoying herself.

For current Ghana news | Ghana Business News | News in Ghana

Speaker of Parliament Justin Muturi said that the MPs sat on either the sports and labour committees, and were sent along with some members of the parliamentary football team, Bunge FC.

Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye, who is head of the Parliamentary Service Commission that determines the responsibilities and remuneration of legislators, defended the trip.

"It is their responsibility to understand sports, how to host such international tournaments," the Star newspaper quotes him as saying. "This is not a holiday and it is too simplistic to look at it as a joyrider mission."

A parliamentary source has told the BBC that members of parliament usually travel first class.

When travelling on official business, Kenyan MPs are entitled to daily allowances for expenses of around $1,000.

Kenyan MPs are believed to be among the best paid in the world but last year they got a 15% pay cut to $6,100 a month.

They also lost some of their generous allowances, such as for mileage and attending parliament.


Credit: BBC