Duale, Mbadi lead MPs in push for funds to visit constituencies

Majority leader Aden Duale with his Minority counterpart John Mbadi
Majority leader Aden Duale with his Minority counterpart John Mbadi

MPs are demanding additional funds from the Parliamentary Service Commission to cater for their expenses when traversing their constituencies.

Led by Majority leader Aden Duale, the MPs said the cash will be modelled on a similar package given to senators to oversight county activities.

In April, senators were allocated Sh2.7 billion to oversight counties.

Duale on Thursday told a House session chaired by Kibwezi East MP Jessica Mbalu that elected members are entitled to receive the funds to enable them manage their offices at the grassroots.

He wants the provision to be anchored in the Parliamentary Service Bill, 2018. “The Senate cannot have their cake and eat it. This Parliament can’t act like an animal farm. We are all equal as lawmakers,” Duale said.

Duale said senators get money to run their county offices in addition to mileage allowances.

“So, what makes a senator to be given Sh500 million for monetary evaluation? Either all of us are included in this law to get monetary evaluation money or none. For us not to fight our friends, let us put that monetary evaluation fund in this law for everybody,” the Garissa Township MP said.

Senate Deputy Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata said they receive the fund to provide oversight over national government revenue allocated to county governments annually.

“The only problem is that members of the National Assembly oversight the National Government as one entity and cannot be split up to 290 constituencies. Our oversight role is towards 47 distinct and separate entities,” Kang’ata said.

The Murang’a senator said allocating the same provision for MPs would make it difficult to implement.

“They are oversighting one entity that is placed at the national level,” he said.

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National Assembly Minority leader John Mbadi said millions of shillings is misappropriated by the county governments each year.

“We continue allocating a lot of resources to counties and the amount of money lost is enormous. For instance, one county loses not less than Sh500 million in one financial year. There is laxity in our system of monitoring the conducts of these county governments,” Mbadi said.

He defended the new push for monetary allocation. “Criticising every bit of our lives as MPs is being unfair,” said the Suba South MP.

Duale said their push for car grants, house allowances and mileage should be anchored in the bill to be fully funded by PSC.

“We draw our powers from the people of Kenya. We must anchor this issue of car grants in law so that nobody can question it. Our house allowance question must be resolved,” Duale said.

He said the parliamentary leadership will retreat to propose for necessary amendments.

“This bill touches directly on the well-being of members of this House. It is very important and should not be trivialised,” Duale said.

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