Auditor-General Edward Ouko has asked the Sports Ministry to recover Sh2.5 million the ministry paid for two Members of Parliament during the 2018 World Cup trip to Russia.
According to Ouko, the money was paid irregularly.
He argues that the lawmakers didn’t deserve the treat as their expenses were supposed to be catered for by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).
“The Members of National Assembly serve under Parliamentary Service Commission and their expenses should be paid from there. In the circumstances, the State Department should pursue refund of Sh2,461,872 irregularly requested and paid to the two Members of Parliament from the Clerk of the National Assembly,” the audit report directs.
The MPs were part of a 20 delegation that traveled to Russia during the last two weeks of World Cup.
Local media reports indicate that at least eight MPs represented Sports Committee among them the chairperson Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Chris Omulele, Jones Mlolwa, Ben Shinali, Dan Wanyama, Sylvanus Maritim, George Sunkuiy, Charles Nguna and one staffer, Fred Otieno.
Another delegation from Bunge Sports Club comprising of nine MPs, Senators and two parliamentary staff (whose names were not included in the committee) traveled to Russia.
The trip elicited public uproar after word spread that the legislators were sponsored by the taxpayer.
Many Kenyans thought the trip was a waste of money in a country where many languish in poverty.
They reacted angrily to selfies posted by some MPs having good time in Russia.
One of the most notable legislators was senator Millicent Omanga, who strongly hit at critics faulting their traveling to Russia. She said it was not her first time to attend such events.
“I’ve attended the last three World Cup tournaments, including before I was elected MP. My personal endeavors can never be limited by the office I hold. What’s wrong catering for leader’s expenses to watch soccer? Leaders from across the world are here.” A section of her social media post read.
Responding to angry Netizens, National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi said that the MPs were on a bench marking tour.
“That’s not a bad thing, they must prepare a report when they come back and table it in parliament. That’s the standard procedure,” he said.
The audit report also puts the sports ministry on the spot over failure to recover Sh2.4 million from athletes who participated in the World Cup Under 18 Championship held in Nairobi from July 12 to 16, 2017.
Ouko report further highlights theft of Sh3.6 million parking lights that were installed at Kasarani Stadium during the IAAF World Under-18 Championship held in Nairobi in 2017.
According to the Auditor-General, the management of the facility said it had withheld retention money until the replacement was done but no evidence was produced to support the claims.
“Although the security firm at the stadium acknowledged the theft and requested to replace the security lights, no replacement had been done as at the time of audit in November 2018.”