NAIROBI, KENYA: An opposition senator has demanded to know the entire cost of President Uhuru Kenyatta's overseas trips since the beginning of this year.
Senator Boni Khalwale (Kakamega), who is also the Public Accounts and Investment committee chairman, has sought a statement in the House, seeking to know the composition and the number of persons in the delegation in each of the trips.
Of particular interest to Dr Khalwale is to know how much it will cost the taxpayers' to foot the Head of State' trip to the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, a number of legislators are reported to be part of entourage.
"How many overseas trips has the president made from January to date?" Dr Khalwale asked.
He expressed concern over the number of foreign trips made by government officials yet the country is struggling with a ballooning wage bill and increased demands for better pay by public servants.
He sought the response through the Finance Committee chairperson Senator Billow Kerrow (Mandera), arguing that Kenyans have a right to what the president's foreign trip cost and how many people accompany him in every travel.
" Can the chairman confirm that there are over 40 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the president's delegation to the 2015 UN General Assembly, and could he also explain their role in the trip, considering that the Kenyan delegation is entitled to only 10 sitting slots at the assembly?" queried the Senator in the plenary.
He continued, "What measure is the Government taking to cut down on the frequency and size of the delegations in overseas trips, in view of the admission by the President that the country is facing a financial crisis."
Dr Khalwale faulted the government's expenditure, arguing that it has failed to honour the Supreme Court's judgment to effect a salary increment to teachers.