Peninah Malonza: Kenya has received 1.4 million tourists in the last four months

Tourists being entertained by dancers after disembarking from MV World Odyssey in Mombasa on January 26, 2023. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza has said 1.4 million tourists visited the country in last four months.

At the same time the CS noted that the country earned Sh268 billion from tourism in the last one year.

Malonza who appeared before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Tourism and Wildlife in Nairobi on Monday called for reinstatement of Sh200 million slashed from the ministry budget for travelling and marketing the country as a tourist destination.

The CS who had just arrived in the country from Jamaica where she attended the Global Tourism Resilience Conference said that the country was recognized internationally due to its attractive tourism sites and all stakeholders need to support the sector.

“The tourism sector in Kenya is employing at least one million people and should be supported by all sectors so as to ensure that the nation earns more revenue and also provides a source of livelihood for millions of Kenyans who depend on it for survival,” said Ms Malonza.

She apologized to the committee for failing to appear last Thursday to discuss the budget estimates for the ministry saying that she had travelled out of the country but failed to notify them in writing.

Malonza said that she had spoken to the Committee Chairperson Kareke Mbiuki (Maara MP) on phone while in Jamaica informing him that Tourism Principal Secretary John Ololtua and Wildlife Principal Secretary Silvia Museiya had been sent to represent the ministry.

The CS who previously served as Kitui Deputy Governor from 2013 to 2017 told the committee that she no longer engaged in politics as she working to revive the tourism sector.

“The global tourism conference I attended in Kingstone, Jamaica was intended to prepare the globe to handle the longest drought situation experienced in various countries affecting the wildlife sector which is a major attraction for most tourists,” she said.

She told the committee that if the ministry efforts to revive the sector were supported by all stakeholders it can earn the country billions of shillings in foreign exchange.

Malonza informed the committee that the ministry owes victims of human-wildlife conflict Sh5.6 Billion for compensation yet it has been allocated only Sh950 million.

“It is the wish of my ministry to clear all the compensation claims for citizens who have been killed or injured due to human-wildlife conflict but our hands are tired since out of the Sh5.6 billion we owe victims we have only been allocated Sh950 million,” she said.

Mbiuki said that they got concerned when the CS failed to turn up for the earlier meeting and did not formally inform the committee that she would not be available so that it could be rescheduled to accommodate her.

He said that it was important for the ministry and the committee to work together since they have a common agenda of promoting tourism which is one of the key foreign exchange earners in the country.

Committee members present were MPs John Wanjiku (Kiambaa), Rashid Bedzimba(Kisauni), Hamisi Chome(Voi), Alfred Mutai(Kuresoi North), Ruweida Oboo(Lamu East), Geofrey Kariuki( Mbeere North) Peter Shake(Mwatate) and Abubakar Ahmed (Nominated).


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