How Kitui County Assembly Members (MCAs) Spent Millions On Foreign Travel

By The Weekly Vision Team

The extravagant expenditure of millions of shillings by the Members of County Assembly (MCAs) from Kitui County Assembly on overseas trips has been exposed in a report by the Controller of Budgets, FCPA Dr Margaret Nyakang’o. The report on the county government’s budget implementation review for the year 2023–2024 revealed serious malpractices by the assembly’s leadership.

The assembly’s speaker, Hon. Kevin Kinengo Katisya, and the clerk, Elijah Mutambuki, are under scrutiny for authorizing MCA travel expenses, resulting in a significant financial burden on taxpayers. Investigations, however, reveal that the blame should squarely fall on the clerk, Mr Mutambuki, who handles all the administrative issues in the county assembly and is also the secretary to the county assembly service board.

Kitui County assembly clerk Elijah Mutambuki. Courtesy

The question, however, is: can the clerk be solely held accountable for the excessive spending on overseas trips? According to sources familiar with the process of approving these journeys, the speaker also assumes a courteous role in granting such approvals. According to a source, apart from the speaker, other top officers involved in such approvals include the Deputy Speaker and Majority Leader, in this case, Christopher Nzilu Nzioka and Harrison Maluki Mawia, respectively.

According to the report, expenditure on domestic travel stood at Ksh. 63.22 between November 27 and December 1, 2023. Six MCAs and one member of staff travelled to Istanbul, Turkey, to attend a training workshop on advanced parliamentary theory and practice organized by ESAMI (Committee on Lands Infrastructure and Urban Development), they spent Ksh.7, 492,926.

Between October 20th and October 28th, 2023, the Clerk of the Assembly, Mutambuki, attended some training on international transformative leadership in the United Kingdom and spent Ksh. 2,121,200.

Between October 30 and November 3, 2023, 6 MCAs and one member of staff, attended a training workshop on value chain addition in agriculture organized by ESAMI (Committee on Agriculture, Water, and Irrigation) in Singapore, they Ksh.11, 639,250. The County Assembly Speaker Nzioka had also attended an international workshop on performance management systems and localization of the SDGs in London, United Kingdom, costing the county Ksh. 2,390,786.

The report also reveals that six MCAs and a member of staff attended a training workshop on the role of the PIAC Committee in scrutinizing public expenditures organized by ESAMI (Public Investments Accounts Committee). Singapore, they spent Ksh. 11,096,600.

Further, 6 MCAs and one member of staff had also, between October 16 and October 20, 2023, attended a training on strengthening healthcare systems in the county governments organized by ESAMI (the Committee on Health and Sanitation) in Istanbul, Turkey, at a cost of Ksh. 9,423,050.