MPs stuck in Berlin as forum flops


At least four senators and two parliamentary staff are stranded in Germany as various international airlines restrict flights over the threat posed by Covid-19.The first case of the coronavirus disease in the German capital of Berlin, where the Kenyans MPs are, was confirmed on Sunday evening, taking the total number of cases in Germany to 157.At least 10 of the 16 German states have had confirmed cases of the deadly virus.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka confirmed that the parliamentarians and staffers were on a week-long official trip, and were scheduled to return after the trade conference they were to attend was cancelled over fears of spreading the disease.“Yes, indeed, they are in the German capital, but they are not stuck or stranded as they are making their own arrangements to come back home,” said Mr Lusaka.

The legislators are members of the Senate committee on trade, industry and co-operatives. The conference was cancelled abruptly after the team had booked hotels and landed in Berlin.

Reports indicate that Senate Tourism Committee Chair Charles Kibiru, Mwangi Githiomi (Nyandarua), Christopher Langat (Bomet) and a parliamentary staffer had requested for refunds from their hotel to facilitate their return home, but the management declined. Sources told The Standard that the MPs’ pockets had been depleted days after they left Kenya as they had paid for accommodation in advance.

A Parliamentary Service Commission circular on per diems shows National Assembly members are entitled to Sh93,547 a day. This means that an MP in Berlin for seven days would receive Sh655,000.


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