IN THE eyes of the internet, South Australian Senator Lucy Gichuhi is a celebrity and a meme legend.

But internet fame aside, she is still going to have to fork out the thousands of dollars she owes to the Australian taxpayer for misusing public funds.

Joining politics in 2016, Senator Gichuhi has been a member of the South Australian Liberal Party since February.

Senator Lucy Gichuhi on Kenyan TV.
Senator Lucy Gichuhi on Kenyan TV.

And in those past few months, Senator Gichuhi is facing mounting pressure to explain her apparent misuse of taxpayer funds, spending more than $12,000 on trips to Sydney for "electoral business" despite being hundreds of kilometres away from her Adelaide office.

According to parliamentary records obtained byThe Advertiser, taxpayers regularly footed the bill for flights given to Senator Gichuhi's family members including a trip to Sydney in April last year, before she was sworn into Parliament.

Senator Gichuhi also claimed $4000 for two one-night trips to Sydney, one of which was for an appearance on ABC's Q&A.

Politicians appearing on Q&A normally charge all of their expenses back to the taxpayer.

In October, Senator Gichuhi also billed taxpayers more than $2000 to fly her family from Darwin down to Adelaide for her birthday.

In a tweet yesterday, Senator Gichuhi agreed to repay the $2139 she spent for her birthday and said it had come from a "misunderstanding of travel rules".

 

A spokesman for Senator Gichuhi said the office was confident that all of the travel was in line with the rules.

But Senator Gichuhi's taxpayer trouble isn't the only thing that's left her constituents scratching their heads.

In January, while appearing on a Kenyan TV program, Senator Gichuhi was asked about her salary.

"$200,000 Australian dollars … in a whole year that's not a lot of money," she said.

In March, Senator Gichuhi birthed arguably one of the most viral memes to ever hit the internet when she was asked a question at a press conference.

It came a day after Innovation Minister Michaelia Cash threatened to expose sex scandals in Australian Parliament.

When Senator Gichuhi was asked about it, she gave the now-viral response.

 



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