Samburu county staff defy protests, travel to Ethiopia
Samburu County opposition leaders have raised alarm over misuse of public funds by the county government on foreign trips.
This is after five Members of County Assembly and four staff members from the executive traveled on Tuesday to Ethiopia at a cost of more than Sh.6 million.
Julius Leshoomo the MCA of Loldokenjek Ward, Jonathan Lemoosa (Ngiro) Benjamin Leitore (Wamba West) Loobuk Pius (Baawa) and Linda Naserian (nominated) will spend eight days in Ethiopia.
A tour company in Nairobi has been contracted by the Samburu county executive to cater for travel, food and accommodation in Ethiopia at a cost of Sh.2.5million.
A Document obtained by Tupo revealed that the county officials will be accommodated at Southern Addis hotel in Ethiopia for eight days.
The team will also attend a two day training at the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations and later spend another three days visiting African Union offices in Addis Ababa, parliament of the federal Republic of Ethiopia, Ethiopia stock exchange and a city tour of Addis Ababa.
However, opposition leaders led by Maralal Ward MCA, Elly Loldepe feel the trip is a waste of taxpayer’s money adding that each of the nine officials will pocket slightly over Sh 465,000 in allowances.
MCAs Irene Leshore and Modesta Lalaikipian claimed the trip was organized by the executive to reward MCAs who passed the 2017/2018 financial year budget without questioning it.
“The group which has just travelled to Ethiopia is being rewarded for passing a budget at 4.38pm which is not the standard time for county assembly business. Some of us were not even involved,” said Leshore.
Lalaikipian said there is need for development projects in the county while the executive is rewarding six MCAs who passed the budget without scrutinizing it.
The MCAs said the trip will not add any value to the county as the final budget in the five year term has already been passed.
“Visiting chamber of commerce in Ethiopia and several other historical sites as the itinerary indicates only adds value to the pockets of those who have gone there,” said Loldepe.
The MCAs said they will not tolerate misuse of public funds for the one month left before elections.
“As the team travels to Ethiopia, they left behind a crying Samburu where residents are languishing in hunger and floods sweeping away their weak livestock.” Loldepe added.
They said they would put the county government on its toes by enlightening voters on misuse of public resources by the county government at the expense of development.
Efforts to contact the county assembly speaker Steve Lelegwe, who is supposed to release the assembly staff to attend any trip, were futile as he did not answer our calls or respond to text messages.