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Auditor wants House to refund Sh2.5m paid to MPs

By Mercy Mwai
Tuesday, March 9th, 2021
Parliament in session during the second day of the special sitting, yesterday. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI
In summary
    FIFA MESS
    • The funds paid to the two MPs were meant to cater for their expenses during the final two weeks of the games beginning July 1 to July 17 2018.
    • Cash paid out following a request from the Clerk of the National Assembly.

Two legislators to pay back cash for expenses to the Fifa World Cup in Russia in 2016.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu wants Parliament to refund Sh2.5 million paid to two MPs to cater for their expenses during the FIFA World Cup games held in Russia in July 2018.

In her latest report for the financial year ending June 30, 2018, Gathungu said that the state department of the National Sports Funds paid for the expenses of the two MPs yet they serve under the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), which is the committee that should have catered for their expenses.

The funds paid to the two MPs were meant to cater for their expenses during the final two weeks of the games beginning July 1 to July 17, 2018 and were paid out following a request from the Clerk of the National Assembly.

The delegation Kenya has never reached the World Cup but the Harambee Stars qualified the African Cup of Nations in 2004.

“In the circumstances, the state department should pursue a refund of Sh2,461,872 irregularly paid to the two members of parliament,” reads the report.

Apart from the two legislators, 20 other MPs also travelled to Russia for the Fifa World Cup quadrennial even. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) said it facilitated the MPs to acquire Fan IDs, a mandatory document that provides visa-free entry to Russia for those traveling to watch the World Cup.

MPs travelled in two batches, one group left on July 2 and another on July 5 and were expected back after the games.

The delegation that went for the games consisted of members of the Committee Sports, Labour and Social Welfare as well as the Parliament’s football Club called Bunge FC.

Legislators on the trip included Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town) who chaired the Sports committee, Wafula Wamunyinyi ( Kanduyi), Sylvanus Maritim (Ainamoi), and Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town).

Senators who travelled included Cleophas Malala (Kakamega), Aaron Cheruyiot (Kericho) and Judy Pare-no (Nominated), Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja who cancelled his travel to deal with other issues affecting Nairobi.

Economy air tickets from Nairobi to Russia at that time cost around $4,000 (Sh400,000). National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi defended the controversial trip saying it was a bench marking exercise by members of the Parliamentary Sports and Culture Committee as well as Bunge FC who are members of parliament football team.

At the same time, Gathungu raised concerns over expenditures incurred by the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund running into billions of Shillings. According to Gathungu her office could not confirm whether the fund realised value for money for Sh4 billion that was paid to various federations and sports organisations.

She regretted that although the Public Finance Management Act is responsible for monitoring the use of funds disbursed to sporting organisations, the management did not carry out any monitoring activity on the use of disbursements during the year under review as the funds lacked adequate staff.

“In the circumstances it has not been possible to confirm whether the funds were utilised for the in-tended purposes or value for money was obtained,” adds the report.

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