Kenyan MPs cry over bad food as Speaker Justin Muturi saves caterers
By Alphonce Shiundu
| December 3rd 2015
Parliament's catering team that has been working on contract for over seven years will be employed on permanent and pensionable terms.
This emerged as the MPs discussed the quality of food served at Parliament Building's main restaurant.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said the Parliamentary Service Commission will employ the caterers to boost their morale in serving the MPs better.
During the debate on their welfare, the MPs complained to Mr Muturi that the food they were being served at the restaurant was of poor quality.
They also said despite paying Sh2,000 for gym services, the equipment is not operational, and that the toilets and washrooms are "pathetic".
Majority Leader Aden Duale (Garissa Township) said the service at the restaurant was not dignified.
He drew comparison to his colleagues at the Senate and said they (senators) have a better café akin to the five-star Intercontinental Hotel.
"Mr Speaker, as the chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission you must save us! We used to have very good tea and cookies. But if you look at the queen cakes and 'mandazis' that we now get, you may think they were cooked two weeks ago. I am very sure there are MPs here who don't invite people for lunch because of the quality of food," said Mr Duale.
Catering and Health Club Committee Vice Chairman Elijah Lagat (Chesumei) had a rough time trying to convince the MPs that his committee was working to improve the services.
Mr Lagat complained that delayed payments to suppliers and lengthy procurement processes had affected service delivery.
Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem) said the MPs ought to show up early if they wanted to find quality food because they were inviting so many visitors for lunch, thereby leaving "residues" for the legislators.
In asking the cooks to be permanently employed, Mr Midiwo said: "You don't expect a casual to cook good food for seven years; in fact they are the people who should be going for this bench-marking trips."
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