Kenyan MPs skip Geneva meeting ‘to shop’

Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli. (Photo: Collins Oduor, Standard)

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) has made shocking allegations concerning Kenyan lawmakers.

Cotu has claimed that Kenyan lawmakers to an international labour conference in Geneva, Switzerland, have been on a shopping spree, living large on taxpayers’ money as other delegates discussed serious labour matters.

The union claims that the lawmakers from the National Assembly and Senate Labour Committee have not attended a single session of the 106th session of the International Labour Conference despite receiving huge allowances and other benefits during their stay in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The MPs, according to Cotu boss Francis Atwoli, were on a “spending extravaganza, shocking Geneva residents with their lavish spending and other escapades outside the official programme”.

Spending extravaganza

“Cotu wishes to raise its concern against a section of both members of the National Assembly and the Senate, who reportedly received money… but did not attend a single session of the ongoing conference and instead have been spotted busy shopping on the streets of Geneva,” the union said in a statement.

The 10-day conference is expected to close this Friday.

Cotu said it was ‘painful’ that MPs, who draw huge salaries and allowances, can afford to run personal errands as delegates from other countries are locked in discussions affecting the world’s workers.

The union wants Treasury to deduct the allowances advanced to the lawmakers and hold them accountable for the money they have received for the trip.

Information on the ILO website indicates that the Kenyan delegation was led by Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie, Principal Secretary Khadija Kasachoon, and Commissioner for Labour Sammy Nyambari.

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