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Editorials

EDITORIAL: Only the Judiciary can save us from MPs

Taxpayers will fork out Sh450 million annually
Taxpayers will fork out Sh450 million annually as pension for former MPs who retired between 1984 and 2001, if a Bill sponsored by Minority Leader John Mbadi is passed into law. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Every time members of the National Assembly wring more cash from the long-suffering taxpayer, the public always hopes that this would be a one-off. However, Kenyans more often than not end up being proven wrong.

And the fault is on the side of a legislature shorn of all morals and hell-bent on shaking down poor Kenyans to the last coin. As a matter of fact, it beggars belief that they are the same people elected only a few months ago after making all manner of promises that mostly turn out to be false.

Right now, it would be hard to point at what to condemn after the houses engaged in a series of money-grabbing ventures that are only new being revealed in dollops.

After demanding 17 allowances, including that for being in Nairobi at night, they have now done something rarely done in human resource practice. A bill sponsored by none other than the supposed leader of the Opposition in Parliament John Mbadi is seeking to award past MPs a regular monthly income of Sh100,000.

The MPs served between 1984 and 2001 and the payment will apply until they die. That means we are passing the burden that should have been shouldered by those responsible for electing them to the current taxpayer who will in turn pass it on to their children. Indeed, you only need to figure the same situation in the private sector — where you ask an employer to pay for workers of the 1980s — to imagine how ridiculous the situation is.

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The former MPs went to Parliament with particular contracts that should not be revised years later. Anything else amounts to an illegality.

The problem would be more bearable if the present members were not engaging in other schemes to feather their own nests, including getting house allowances as well as mortgages. Worse still, the Government is also involved in similar wanton wastage as represented by the Sh3.8 billion waste on entertainment in nine months. And that is before we factor in the money lost through corruption.

It seems Kenyans are captives of the greed that not even changing MPs or government can help dismantle. We now appeal to the Judiciary to rein in the MPs when called upon to do so. Barring that, they will cripple the country with huge debts and render the common man poorer.

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