MPs Told to Return Allowance After US Trip is Cancelled Over Coronavirus

March 4, 2020

A trip for Members of Parliament who were set to attend a United Nations meeting on gender equality in New York has been cancelled. National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said this is due to coronavirus fears.

Muturi announced in Parliament Tuesday that invitations to the conference have now been limited to the countries with permanent missions at the UN headquarters in New York.

A section of Kenyan women leaders was set to travel this weekend for the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 64). The annual two-week conference meant to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women is usually attended by thousands of people from around the world.

On Monday, the United Nations scaled back the event to a one-day affair and advised countries against sending their delegations.

“I regret to inform the House that the scheduled travel by the representatives of the National Assembly is hereby cancelled with immediate effect owing to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Muturi told the MPs.

He further directed the parliamentarians to refund the per diem they had already received ahead of the trip.

The 13-member delegation of nine women MPs and four Parliament staff had been allocated Sh2 million in travel allowances.

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