Outrage as 71 staff join MCAs for Coast trip

Each of the workers was given Sh20,000 for transport to and from the Coastal city. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The Nyandarua County Assembly has come under heavy criticism after 71 support staff accompanied members to a seven-day induction course in Mombasa.

The number of support staff at the meeting that started on Monday is higher than the number of MCAs, which stands at 41.

Yesterday, residents went on social media to express their anger on what they termed as wastage of the county resources.

According to sources, each staff is entitled to Sh14,000 per day as per diem, which brings to a total amount to Sh7 million, excluding transport. Each of the workers was given Sh20,000 for transport to and from the Coastal city.

The MCAs also received a daily out of pocket allowance of Sh14,000 per day and their accommodation and transportation catered for separately. A source said the entire trip would cost taxpayers over Sh20 million.

"It is so awkward that the assembly has decided to spend such an amount within few weeks after the new MCAs were sworn in. This money should have been spent on furnishing the new offices for the MCAs," observed Njoroge Mwangi.

Ms Grace Gitau wondered why such a high number of staff would accompany the MCAs for an induction course.

"They have hired trainers to facilitate the MCAs during the induction course. Why carry all the members of staff to Coast at the public expense?" she posed.

She termed the move a waste of public money, adding it has also happened in the past.

" It is now our time to end this kind of impunity," she said.

An MCA, who sought anonymity, said that they were shocked to find almost all members of staff at the hotel.

"We wonder who has been left even to guard the assembly premises. It is like we have shifted the affairs of the assembly to the hotel" he said.

He regretted they expected only a handful of staff since they had hired experts to train them.

"We are not saying that we do not need them but why bring so many of them here at the public expense? This is a matter that we will question once we get back" he noted.

 County Assembly Speaker Wachira Waiganjo, who was sworn in two days prior to the trip, said the arrangements were made by the clerk’s office. 

"These are the affairs that are run by the office of the clerk. If this turns out to be true, we have to raise questions. Everyone has to account for his or her work here. We cannot run things the same way" he said.

"The clerk's office is mandated to do these arrangements. I will come back and give the clear picture" said Waiganjo.