Kenyans are angry at news that twenty of their Members of Parliament travelled to Russia to watch the World Cup.
The trip was funded by the state at the expense of taxpayers and cost thousands of dollars.
Local media reports that the MPs embarked on the two-week trip to watch four games. That includes Sunday’s final match between France and Croatia.
Kenya’s Sports Minister Rashid Echesa told the BBC that only six MPs were authorized to make the trip.
He said the reason for the trip was to enable the MPs to understand how to organise such big events.
Revelations through Pictures
The trip by the MPs became topical after they circulated pictures of themselves at the games on social media.
Many Kenyans are angry because the nation did not even qualify for the competition which is organized by FIFA.
Kenya’s Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye has defended the trip. Nyegenye also head of the Parliamentary Service Commission that determines the responsibilities and remuneration of legislators.
He is quoted by Star newspaper as saying that “It is their responsibility to understand sports, how to host such international tournaments. This is not a holiday and it is too simplistic to look at it as a joyrider mission,”
“From where we stand, this is official business, only that it is happening in Russia. Had it been happening in Somalia or even Uasin Gishu county, we would still have a team there,” he said.
There have been reactions on social media to the story.
At least 20 Kenya MPs in Russia to enjoy world cup at taxpayers cost.
As you were. pic.twitter.com/8MruHpJVj9
— Sam G 🇰🇪 (@SamGakunyi) July 11, 2018
Just when you think #Kenya MPs can’t shock you anymore, they up their game. This is astonishing, even by their standards … BBC News – World Cup 2018: Kenya outrage at MPs’ trip https://t.co/UzJryfai8D
— Tim Cocks (@timcocks) July 12, 2018
Kenyan MPs are among the best paid in the world.
Kenya is currently ranked 112 out of 206 nations by Fifa. The country however successful at athletics and has put in a bid to host the 2023 World Athletics Championships.