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Public anger over MPs’ ‘financial’ benchmarking trip to Dubai in the middle of a pandemic

Kenyans have been angered by a decision by more than a dozen Members of Parliament have spent millions of shillings on a benchmarking trip to Dubai, in the UAE.

Nyali MP Mohammed Ali, who shared several pictures on social media, said they were in Dubai to attend a ‘Masterclass training in public financial management and administration’.

“Dubai – With other Members of Parliament Attending Masterclass training in public financial management and administration,” he tweeted.

Ali, a supporter of Deputy President William Ruto’s ‘hustler nation’, who has also been sharing photos while in Dubai in the last few days, irked Kenyans with this latest tweet.

The MPs might have been in the Gulf nation for a week going by the Nyali MP’s timeline, which means they have pocketed at least Sh500,000 of taxpayer’s money in per diem so far.

In 2019, six MPs traveled to the UK, where each received Sh110,800 per day for the five days they spent there studying how the assembly there takes care of legislators.

In yet another trip, six MPs flew to Northern Ireland for five days and pocketed Sh110,800 daily as another four-member delegation went to India where each was paid Sh81,700 per day for nine days.

This is what has infuriated members of the public who expressed their anger on social media, accusing their MPs of choosing their own needs over the majority suffering Kenyans, coming as the country is battling economic challenges and a fresh surge in covid-19 cases in the deadlier third wave of the virus.

Kenyans on social media wondered why the legislators did not, for example, use the Kenya School of Government, founded under an Act of Parliament with the mandate to transform the Public Service through human resource capacity development, or conduct the training on Zoom.

Here are some of the reactions:

Kenyans also noticed one peculiar habit by the MPs during the training and called them out: