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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 1 February 2015

MCAs’ from five counties summoned by Senate

Panic has gripped five counties after a report by Auditor General revealed that MCAs have irregularly spent Sh3.71b on unnecessary local and foreign trips and earned the money as travelling allowances.
And in a strange twist of events, to shed light on the  matter, a number of MCAs are now expected to appear before the Senate committee to explain why they have wasted taxpayers’ money on dubious trips. As things stand, the payments were fraudulent and the MCAs if found culpable will be forced to refund the extra allowances.
Among the top five spending counties named in the report were Migori (Sh215m) whose governor is Okoth Obado, Vihiga of Moses Akaranga Sh213m, Nakuru under Kinuthia Mbungua Sh211, Kiambu of  Wiliam Kabogo Sh182m, Kajiado of David Nkedianye Sh175 and Alfred Mutua’s Machakos Sh140m. The above top five spenders have a smaller number of members compared to Nairobi which has 127 MCAs but spent Sh110m.
According to the report, Migori breached the budget by 170pc, followed by Vihiga 151pc,  and Nyandarua 102pc. Just recently Vihiga MCAs were in Rwanda where a married woman was found in bed with a male colleague after having more than enough bottles of beer.
Kenyans from across the board say MCAs have been spending huge amounts of money in unnecessary foreign trips and it is high time they accounted for the millions. At one time, it was alleged that some MCAs were even accompanied by their wives on foreign trips while others were accompanied by their girlfriends and boyfriends all at the expense of taxpayers.
In another report, Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo in the 2013/2014 report recommended that foreign travel be minimised to enhance prudent use of public funds but this has never been implemented as the MCAs continue to earn millions on travelling allowances.
The trouble for the MCAs began last year in August when countries in Europe wrote to the ministry of Foreign Affairs complaining over the frequency and the large numbers of visiting MCAs with some delegation running up to 50 people.
It is against such complaints that the Senate requested the office of the Auditor General to carry out audit of all the 47 counties to see how much each county spent on both local and foreign trips. 
Apart from the Senate, Commission of Administration of Justice chairman Otiende Amolo has also added voice on the need to control foreign trips by the MCAs. In his report, Otiende revealed that some MCAs allocated themselves money to travel to Israel but five of them were holed up in their homes for two weeks.
It is said the five MCAs after pocketing the allowances for the trip including the money for air tickets switched off their phones and went underground for two weeks until their colleagues who had travelled returned. It is claimed the MCAs were doing this with approval of the top county officials some of whom they shared the loot with.