Kenyans call foul after MPs go to World Cup at taxpayers’ expense

first_img“Isn’t that a big bad joke, that leaders can travel all the way to Russia to watch football when we have a lot of problems here?” asked Sylvester Aseka, who sells second-hand computers in Nairobi.“Oh my God, I want to believe that is not true, the pictures some of them are posting,” said Jacinta Mong’ina, 26, a student. “It means they have a lot of time and resources to go to Russia. When will they serve their constituents?”The Star daily newspaper reported that around 20 MPs had travelled to Russia at the beginning of the month and were expected to attend Sunday’s final.The cost of accommodation, per diems and match tickets was being footed by the government, it said.The Star’s estimate of the total cost was around $450,000 (385,000 euros). By comparison, the minimum wage in Kenya is between $120 and $280 per month, depending on the skill.In parliament, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi confirmed the trip but said it was “not a bad thing”.“They must prepare a report when they come back and table it in parliament. That’s the standard procedure,” he said.According to The Star, Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye also defended the trip as “official business”.“It is their responsibility to understand sports, how to host such international tournaments. This is not a holiday and it is too simplistic to look at it as a joyrider mission,” he was cited as saying.Kenya’s Harambee Stars have never reached the World Cup finals, and have not qualified for any major international tournament since the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations.Kenya’s lawmakers — among the highest paid in the world — have often rubbed public opinion up the wrong way notably over their salary demands.Last August, before they had even taken up their seats after an election, the new MPs launched a campaign to demand higher wages.Kenya has also previously courted scandal at major sporting events, from doping allegations to the 2016 Olympics where several athletics officials were charged with offences such as stealing team uniforms.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga. Photo/COURTESYNAIROBI, Kenya, July 22 – Kenyans voiced outrage on Thursday as it emerged that a group of lawmakers had gone to the World Cup at the taxpayers’ expense, even though the country had failed to qualify for the tournament.The scandal erupted after some of the legislators posted selfies on social media of themselves enjoying matches in Russia.last_img read more

$2.68 Billion to Purchase Vehicles and Equipment for JDF

first_img This includes $923 million to facilitate the acquisition of assorted vehicles for the Jamaica Defence Force; a further $930 million to procure hardware and software for cybersecurity initiatives; and $834 million to purchase telecommunications equipment for the JDF. Story Highlights With the maintenance of law and order high on the agenda of the Government, a sum of $2.68 billion has been budgeted to bolster the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) military services.This includes $923 million to facilitate the acquisition of assorted vehicles for the Jamaica Defence Force; a further $930 million to procure hardware and software for cybersecurity initiatives; and $834 million to purchase telecommunications equipment for the JDF.Details of the allocations are outlined in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, tabled recently in the House of Representatives by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke.The Estimates will be considered by the Standing Finance Committee of the House from March 5 to 6.The acquisitions will be financed from the Consolidated Fund. Details of the allocations are outlined in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, tabled recently in the House of Representatives by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke. With the maintenance of law and order high on the agenda of the Government, a sum of $2.68 billion has been budgeted to bolster the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) military services. last_img read more

UWI Partners with Microsoft to Launch IT Centre

first_imgThe University of the West Indies (UWI), in partnership with Microsoft, has established an information technology centre aimed to fostering innovation and stimulating a sustainable local software economy.The Microsoft Innovation Centre (UWI MIC), which will be hosted through the UWI Business Centre on the institution’s Mona campus in St. Andrew, is expected to be opened in August.This was announced by State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Julian Robinson, during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 28.Mr. Robinson said the project is supported by the Government of Jamaica and is “designed to accelerate technology and stimulate the local software economy through skills and professional training, including partnerships and innovation.”Among its various components are an IT academy; a developer camp; an Imagine Cup preparation programme; and a MIC Technical Trainee and Student-to-Business module.Mr. Robinson also informed that Microsoft has committed to fund 12 Tech-entrepreneurs to serve in the centre, as support staff.The UWI MIC targets entrepreneurs, software developers, IT professionals, and academic researchers.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Bakerlast_img read more