Growing up as young ambitious girl from a small village in Nyanza, I imagined Members of Parliament to be people of extra ordinary feats; integrity, selflessness, and policy wonks but nothing could be further from the truth. The recent plea by our legislators to increase their allowances is not only appalling, but also contemptuous to our already struggling economy.
To request a house allowance of Sh250,000, increment of their plenary sitting allowance from current Sh5,000 to Sh7,500 exudes a House that does not comprehend and prioritise the problems its citizens are grappling with.
What I am still at a loss to understand is why the legislatures need increment in their sitting allowance from Sh8,000 to Sh15,000 on top of their already huge emoluments to feel motivated enough to attend to their duties.
There is evidently a rise in the level of avarice among our law makers. The current greed by the MPs is a brazen misappropriation of public funds that if I can talk for the common mwananchi irks to the core. Clearly, I am at loss of words to describe how disappointing and insulting, it is that the same leaders who are meant to protect the taxpayers are at the core of exploiting them.
The Judiciary needs to bend over backwards, rein in and reject these demands with immediate effect. The Senate should also sponsor a censure motion against the National Assembly.
These demands will punch the taxpayers against their financial weight, making it unbearable and unsustainable.
If it was up to me, I would ensure that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) scraps and abolishes some of these allowances once and for all. What I fail to understand is why our leaders should be paid additional sitting allowance for attending a session in Parliament. Don’t they receive monthly salaries for that?
Kenyans are overwhelmed with chagrin regarding the insatiability of these leaders, and they are stuck like a broken record singing the same MPs voracióus tune that perennially fall on deaf ears.
Almost six years ago, activists from all walks of life held a peaceful demonstration regarding the MPs demand for a pay rise. The famous demos which included live pigs smeared with blood to compare the greediness of MPs to pigs. The vice didn’t start now and definitely the fight wouldn’t end now. Therefore, I support the salaries governing body in the fight against the parliamentarian’s ravenousness.
The salary increment is a joke and these leaders need to realise that being a Member of Parliament is about servant leadership, not a get rich quick scheme and lining of pockets.
It is also a lesson to the electorate that should be learnt. We cannot continue electing the same trait of leaders who only care about their stomachs then later complain and picket.
The voters need to make a conscious decision to only elect policy-oriented leaders who value development of the common mwananchi. In addition, the Constitution ought to have a performance-based appraisal forMPs. These legislators receive funds that sometimes they don’t even appropriately channel to the right use and still ask for more money for themselves.
If some of them cannot even account for the resources they have been allocated why should they even be added more reward for work not done? This act of selfishness needs to be dealt with head on.
I want to condemn this act of greed in the strongest terms possible. Kenyans deserve better for their sweat and grit. Legislators should resign if they feel that what they are being paid is not enough. There are plenty of Kenyans who are ready to serve and deliver.
Lucia Nyasuna, Nairobi.