In Summary
  • 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.

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.

"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 (Sh45 million, 385,000 euros). By comparison, the minimum wage in Kenya is between $120 and $280 per month, depending on the skill.

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