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Regulations underway to limit MCAs' foreign trips

11 March 2015, 08:24 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Plans are underway to restrict Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) from making frequent benchmarking foreign trips that are considered extravagant and misuse taxpayers’ money.

The Transition Authority Chairman, Kinuthia Wamwangi who appeared before the Senate Finance Committee said the national government has issued a circular with guidelines on how foreign trips for public officers will be conducted.

Wamwangi said the MCAs benchmarking foreign trips is a matter of great concern to the authority and controlling the tours is in line with the national government’s issued guidelines for consideration by all State agencies and public servants.    

“The head of public service in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has put in place guidelines to regulate the trips of all state and public officers,” Wamwangi told the committee chaired by Mandera Senator, Billow Kerrow.

“We need uniformity and controls so that we do not have a situation where all MCAs in an assembly make trips abroad in the guise of benchmarking,” he added without disclosing the guidelines’ details.

Kisumu Senator, Anyang’ Nyong’o, who is a member of the committee revealed that Kisumu County MCAs are planning to tour Malasyia despite making a similar benchmarking tour to Singapore last year.

“How can all the MCAs in an assembly go for a benchmarking tour? They now want to go to Malaysia yet there is no difference between the Malaysia and Singapore. This is the extravagance the county can ill-afford,” said Nyong’o.

The Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA) Chairman, Micah Cheserem who also appeared before the committee disclosed that some of the MCAs are not making the trips instead use the opportunity to pocket the imprests.

Also read: MCAs trips a wastage of resources

“All the Kisumu MCAs did not travel to Singapore. They received their imprests and disappeared to Bondo and some other areas,” revealed Cheserem.

“Most of them have gone underground after EACC asked them to surrender their passports for investigations,” he added.

The MCAs frequent foreign trips has elicited public outcry of misuse of public funds for personal selfish gains in addition to some governors using such trips as a reward to silence MCAs plotting to impeach them.

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