Let us be, it was sealed from Nairobi, MP’s in Russia tell critics
Jacob Icia in Moscow, Russia
Thursday night, at 11:30pm, Citizen Digital crew covering the 2018 Russia World Cup left Gama Hotel in Moscow a dejected lot.
Their six-hour wait for a section of the Kenyan MP’s in Russia who have been residing there bore no fruit, save for seeing from a distance Webuye’s Dan Wanyama and his Machakos Town counterpart Dr. Victor Munyaka.
Although they did not escape our lenses, there was no room for a word.
Friday morning, at 8:30am, the wait continued at the Hotel Bega, another one where another group of the MP’s have been lodging.
At noon, comes out Runyenjes MP Eric ‘Karemba’ Muchangi, confirming our research that indeed the honorable members were in the hotel.
After a short chart, as yours only readies to introduce the big issue the Kenyan taxpayers have been asking on the Russia tour, Nyali MP Mohammed Ali steps out and realizes something is happening.
Yours only is in full armor but invisible to a layman, and from Ali’s background as journalist, he tells his colleagues the business could have been transacted already.
Muchangi immediately left, fearing our interview would be injurious. However, Ali convinces a section of other MPs to speak to us, noting running away from Cameras is more dangerous especially when you have been captured without composure.
And the match started. A confident Hom Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma defends the trip of the over 30 legislators (from both the National Assembly and the Senate), saying the matter had been blown out of proportion.
“I came at the start of the World Cup and it has been very nice. I came as I have been going for other World Cups, and I can tell you even if the Government were not pay for this one, I would pay!
“The question to ask is why I should pay using my money when I’m a member of parliament from Kenya,” averred a relaxed Kaluma.
Class matters for honorable members, Kaluma had to emphasize: “Here, people are asking why you didn’t use economy (class). Why should you use economy? You are representing the Government of Kenya, why should the Government be scrounging somewhere? What is the image of the country?”
The question being raised by Kenyans is why should MP’s and Senators travel in Russia in numbers, to ‘benchmark’ about football for a nation that has never qualified for the tournament since its inception in 1930.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, benchmarking means evaluating something by comparison with a standard. The definition leaves a question mark what is there to be evaluated from Kenya as afar as football is concerned, with the World Cup tournament.
The validity of benchmarking aside, the question of numbers sent for the same mission has been raised.
“Serikali inajua kuwepo kwetu hapa Russia, kwa hivo hakuna mtu amevuja pesa. Wakati unasema pesa zimechezewa inamaanisha mtu amechukua pesa kwa njia mbaya au amejiweka katika safari kwa njia isyofaa ili aweze kufaidika na jambo fulani (The Government knows that we are in Russia, so no one has misappropriated money. When you say someone is playing around money, you mean a person has taken money illegally or has imposed himself into a journey so that he benefits in a way,” defended Ali.
According to Kaluma, the Kenyan media has blown out of proportion the idea of their Russia tour, saying there are a lot of lessons to take home.
“World Cup is such a big event that Kenya must be represented, and are doing very well. The Media is just diverting attention of Kenyans from what is important,” he added.
The honorable Wafula Wamunyinyi of Kanduyi, ended the match saying the Kenyan culture of complaining about leaders ventures ill informed.
“This number is not big, lets appreciate. We should not be looking to blame all the time when members go out even on official important functions, diverting attention from the real issues in the country,” the veteran politician offered.
Citizen Digital has a list of 12 senators, two parliamentary officers and two individuals designated as “accompanying Senator Malalah,” adding up to 15. At the time of penning this account, Senator John Sakaja of Nairobi had not arrived in Russia, reports indicating he had cancelled his trip.
Others in the list, including Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Minority Leader of the house James Orengo are in Moscow.
The second list has 15 National Assembly members, led by Munyaka, Chairman of the Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism.
However, Citizen Digital can authoritatively report more MP’s not in the official list are here. It is however unknown whether they are under the Government’s funding.
A report on the tour is expected to be handed to the parliament, as divulged by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi earlier in the week.
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