Kudos to Uhuru for MPs’ pay plan move
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to nip in the bud Members of Parliament umpteenth attempt to line their pockets at the expense of over-burdened taxpayer is commendable.
By vetoing the Parliamentary Service Bill, which among other things, intends to give the House the leeway to circumvent the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) in reviewing MPs’ salaries and allowances, the President struck a blow for Kenyans who have, for a long time, been protesting the legislators’ greedy tendencies to no avail.
Uhuru, by sending the bill back to the House, also stopped MPs’ scheme to make SRC irrelevant in the determination of renumeration of public officials, something they have been scheming for since the entity was established by the 2010 Constitution.
There is no doubt that, left to their own devices, MPs would bankrupt the country with their ever growing appetite for higher salaries and all manner of allowances.
Just mid this year, they awarded themselves Sh250,000 in house allowances despite the protest by the public and SRC.
The purpose of the SRC is to ensure that public and State officials get fair remuneration that is in line with the country’s economic circumstances.
As things stand now, any hike in salaries or allowances would not be desirable as the country is struggling with a bloated wage bill, high unemployment rate, rising poverty levels and demands to operationalise devolution.
Kenya is also servicing a ballooning debt, which not only threatens the sustainability of the economy but also the country’s very sovereignty.
One would have expected that as the people’s representatives, MPs would be the first to acknowledge these challenges and be the first to make sacrifices. In any case, the legislators are already generously remunerated, even by international standards.
But from experience, that would be to expect too much. In their quest for more money, MPs have always demonstrated open disregard for voters myriad problems and opinion.
Which is why Kenyans should support the President and the SRC in their determination to prevent the Legislature from going rogue and trampling the law underfoot in the mad charge to the wrest the national pursue and use it contents as they wish.