News24

Kenyan officials under fire

2012-08-08 21:58

Nairobi - Kenyan officials have come under fire for fitting parliament with 350 plush hi-tech chairs, at the cost of $2 300 each - which is more than the average Kenyan earns in a year.

Angry taxpayers have complained via Twitter about the excessive spending on the red chairs, as part of an $11.2m renovation of the 1950s parliament building in central Nairobi.

A parliamentary spokesperson who declined to be named defended the spending, which was approved by members of the legislative house.

"The chairs have been made by prisoners, so that means that the money is going from one arm of government to another, and it will not be lost," he told dpa.

Officials say the chairs are fitted with electronic voting systems and other gadgets that will bring Kenyan politics into the digital age.

The average Kenyan earns just $1 800 a year, according to official data.