Kenyan Australian senator Lucy Gichuhi has been forced to pay back at least $2,000 (Ksh 200,000) to the Australian government after she flew two of her family members at the cost of Australian tax payers.
Despite being 56 years old, the senator held her ’50th birthday plus GST’ in Adelaide, Australia, in October according to The Sunday Telegraph.
The senator is claiming that she didn’t mean to charge the Australian tax payers and that it is “an administrative error involving misunderstanding of travel rules.”
Senator Lucy Gichuhi billed taxpayers $2139 for two return airfares from Darwin to Adelaide as part of her ‘family traveller’ allowance. According to the publication, the senator will pay the whole amount plus a 25% penalty for the erroneous charge.
‘Regarding the media reports about my travel expenses, this was an administrative error involving misunderstanding of travel rules. I’ve raised an invoice from the department to pay the costs of $2139 in full,’ the senator tweeted on Sunday.
The senator uploaded more than 180 photos from her party onto her Facebook page. The party was held at the Rydges Hotel calling it ‘A wonderful night of celebration with family and close friends.’
She also uploaded her speech during the celebrations on to her parliamentary website page.
‘Fifty is the Biblical year of Jubilee, of freedom from oppression and debt, of healing the land, of rest and of new beginnings,’ the speech reads
‘This is my prayer for all of you. Five is the number of grace and jubilee can only happen because of his grace. So, fifty plus GST is a very important birthday for me and I have now also taught you to deduct 10 per cent off your own age – if you want to!’
The Kenyan-born Lucy Gichuhi moved to Australia in 1999 where she lived until 2016 when she was elected senator through the Federal Liberal party. She won the seat after the High Court ruled that Family First Party leader Bob Day had not been eligible to stand for election.
She previously sat in the senate as an independent.