Kenyan MPs fingerprinted to show parliamentary attendance

Kenya's parliament Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kenyan MPs can get $232 a week for attending parliament

Kenya's parliament has launched a biometric fingerprint system to register MPs' attendance.

Parliamentary speaker Justin Muturi denied that it was introduced to "curb fraud" and said it was to speed up registration and for security.

There have been allegations that MPs have been using an official to sign in on their behalf in order to get a $58 (£35) attendance fee.

Kenyan MPs are among the highest paid in the world.

The BBC's Odeo Sirari in the capital, Nairobi, says MPs have spent the morning registering their fingerprints ahead of the afternoon opening of parliament after its Christmas break.

Most of the MPs welcomed the move but complained they had not been told about its introduction, he says.

"I want to correct the impression created by the media suggesting that this machine is being installed to curb fraud among members," Mr Muturi told MPs.

"The machines will save time because members will no longer be required to wait in the queue in order to sign in manually," he said.

Our reporter says the MPs have a week to register and will then have to use the biometric machine as they enter the chamber.

Parliament sits on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and all day on Wednesdays.

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