Africa

Kenya MPs furious after parliament's power supply cut

Kenya's Supreme Court judges file into the chamber during the opening of the 11th Parliament in the capital Nairobi April 16, 2013 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Kenya's MPs are among the highest paid in the world

MPs in Kenya have reacted furiously after the electricity supply to parliament was cut for three days apparently because of an unpaid bill of $97,000 (£63,000).

The opposition blamed the government, but MPs of the governing coalition rallied to its defence.

MPs also said they had not received their allowances and some parliamentary staff had not been paid.

The government and parliamentary officials have not yet commented.

Kenya MPs are among the highest paid in the world, and the chaotic state of the parliamentary building is embarrassing to them, says the BBC's Abdullahi Abdi in the capital, Nairobi.

There is growing concern that the government is facing a cash crunch, and MPs from parliament's finance committee are now holding a crisis meeting to discuss the issue, he adds.

During a parliamentary debate, opposition MP Adan Keynan said the power supply to parliament was cut from Friday to Monday.

"The power guys came and disconnected power... It has never happened [before]," he added.

Another opposition MP Chris Wamalwa said the water supply had also been cut.

"The other day I was here, I could not even visit the toilet because the toilet was closed. There was no water, no electricity," he said.

Cecily Mbarire, an MP from the governing coalition, said the electricity bill amounted to $97,000.

Our correspondent says opposition and ruling coalition MPs agreed that there was a financial crisis, but disagreed over who was responsible.

Ruling coalition MPs blamed the treasury officials, while the opposition felt the government should take the blame, he adds.

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