Atwoli: MPs skip ILO forum, joyriding in Geneva

A section of Kenyan MPs and senators are on the spot following allegations that they are joyriding in Geneva, Switzerland instead of attending the ongoing International Labour Organisation (ILO) conference.

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary General Francis Atwoli on Wednesday accused the MPs lawmakers pocketing allowances running into millions of shillings from the taxpayer purporting to attend the international conference only to be seen shopping on the streets on Geneva.

“The (members) of Labour and Social Affairs committees of both houses who reportedly received money from the Kenya government in the pretext to attend the 106th Session of the International Labour Congress, in Geneva, Switzerland but they did not attend a single session at the ongoing International Labour Congress, ILC,” Mr Atwoli said in a statement.


He maintained that no single legislator in the Kenyan delegation has attended any plenary session during the two week conference.

He said he is leading a delegation of 20 COTU members.

“They collected the money and allowances in the pretext that they were coming to attend the conference and COTU considers this to be outright robbery without violence of tax payers money,” he stated.

When contacted, Matungu MP David Were who chairs the National Assembly Labour and Social Affairs committee confirmed that he was in the Swiss capital attending the conference. He did not however respond to Mr Atwoli’s claims.

Kilifi senator Stewart Madzayo who chairs the committee in the senate was spotted in the House on Tuesday though he was not present Wednesday.


Mr Atwoli asked the National Treasury to recover the allowances from the joyriding MPs and senators.

Meanwhile, Mr Atwoli has been re-elected to ILO’s governing body for another three year term.

It is the fourth time the veteran trade unionist was being elected to sit on the body, which regulates the international standards and instruments of workers across the globe.

Besides sitting on the body, Mr Atwoli is also the President of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) which based in Accra, Ghana.

He is also the Vice President of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) based in Brussels, Belgium.

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