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December 14, 2018

EXPERT COMMENT: MPs no longer servants but ticks on our flesh

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi during the swearing-in  MPS in Parliament in 2017./HEZRON NJOROGE
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi during the swearing-in MPS in Parliament in 2017./HEZRON NJOROGE

What MPs are doing is not only disgusting but also immoral: a manifestation of pure selfishness and greed.

They are the highest paid in Africa. They are used to having their way since the Cockar Commission days.

These MPs are not our servants any more. They are lords, ticks living off our flesh and blood.

If they - God forbid - get their way with this, then there will be massive salary increment demands occasioning industrial havoc. It will make toothless the Salaries and Remuneration Commission that is credited for the current sanity. The country will not be able to shoulder or resist the demands of other workers.

Currently, the wage bill stands above 50 per cent of domestic revenue. With such greedy demand for higher pay and perks, it will overshoot. This means all we produce will pay salaries. Nothing left for development.

This is a heavy burden on Kenyans, which MPs should be easing and not increasing if they were mindful of their constituents.

It’s a pity. I believe the President will overcome their blackmail. We encourage him to fend off this greed by not assenting to the bill. Let us see how they will move from there.

The problem is the MPs went to court to overturn some decisions of SRC and some judges gave in. I believe that is why they have gained that bravado of getting away with anything.

We are awaiting decisions of the Court of Appeal and probably the Supreme Court to give an interpretation of the Constitution regarding the salaries and remuneration of state officers.

MPs under Article 260 are state officers. So they are bound by whatever the SRC decides. It is the SRC that should set their pay and perks and only review them if they have concerns.

They are changing the law to give the Parliamentary Service Commission more powers. But it doesn't matter because that cannot override the Constitution. I believe whatever they are doing is unconstitutional and therefore an exercise in futility.

The former SRC commissioner spoke to the Star.

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