All the 416 MPs have received their Sh5 million car grants.
The Star has also established that the Parliamentary Service Commission is processing MPs’ retroactive mileage allowances since they were sworn in.
The car grants which hit the bank accounts of the MPs in the last week of January amount to Sh2 billion.
Parliament’s parking spaces are decorated with sleek and high-end vehicles, among them Toyota V8s, Lexus and Range Rovers bought by new lawmakers.
Many of the MPs traded in their old cars for new ones or took additional loans from the Bunge Sacco to finance more expensive vehicles befitting their ‘Mheshimiwa titles’.
SLEEK AND BEFITTING
Others not considered flashy went for the relatively less prestigious Toyota TX models that cost less than Sh5 million in the market.
“Yeah, I bought my car last Sunday,” said an MP from Central Kenya who has been relying on taxis to commute to and from the House.
The disbursements follow a High Court ruling in December that set aside the implementation of SRC’s drastic pay review for MPs and state officers.
In July last year, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission gazetted a lower pay structure for lawmakers and top state officers to tame runway public wage bill that now is well above Sh700 billion per year.
The pay cuts would have saved taxpayers Sh8billion annually. On December 28, the Star exclusively reported MPs’ rush to cash in on Justice George Odunga’s order that lifted the pay cut.
The Parliamentary Service Commission — the statutory employer — had given MPs up to the end of January to submit car grant applications from all the 416 MPs. They then had three months to shop around and prepare purchase documents for cars worth up to a ceiling of Sh5 million.
A case by the PSC challenging SRC’s pay review for MPs is at the High Court. The PSC says the car grant was a facilitative allowance previously given to state officers serving in Parliament.
The PSC said giving car grants was a cheaper alternative to providing and maintaining official cars for MPs due to the distance and the terrain lawmakers cover as they travel to constituencies.
MPs are now earning a basic salary of Sh710,000, but could take home as much as Sh1.1 million monthly, including allowances.
Related: MPs in mad rush for free Sh5m cars