State Won't Pay Somali Talks Bills
By JULIUS BOSIRE
Nairobi, Wednesday, December 3, 2003 (Daily Nation) – The Government was
under no obligation to settle bills incurred in millions of shillings by
Somali delegates discussing peace in the country, assistant minister Foreign
Affairs Mr. Moses Wetang'ula said.
Mr. Wetang'ula said the 927 delegates incurred a bill of Sh327, 241,195 at
Eldoret hotels when the talks were held in the town between October 15 last
year and January 14 this year.
Mr. Wetang'ula was answering a question by Mr. Joseph Lagat (Eldoret East,
Kanu) who sought to know whether the minister was aware that 13 hotels in
Eldoret were under a threat of being auctioned by banks and suppliers due to
unpaid bills incurred by Somali delegates.
Mr. Wetang'ula gave the figures and said that the Inter-Governmental
Authority on Development (IGAD) secretariat at Djibouti was responsible for
He said the Government's letter to the hotels to let free the delegates was
only a "comfort letter" and not a commitment to pay.
MPs demanded an explanation what the assistant minister meant by a comfort
Mr. Lagat tabled a copy of the Government letter promising that the ministry
would pay the bills.
Mr. Wetang'ula said Kenya was only a member of the IGAD and it could not pay
the money alone.
Mr. Abdi Sasura (Saku, Kanu) said asked the Government to tell IGAD that
Kenya was unable to host the Somali peace talks, owing to the fact that even
in Nairobi, hotels bills have not been honored.
Mr. Wetang'ula said the peace process for Somalia was very crucial to the
region and Kenya would not afford disassociating with them.
He said IGAD was soliciting funds from partners and friends, including the
European Union to pay for the peace meetings.