KEYA KINUTHIA trails MPs who totter on the brink of bankruptcy
The August house has been rather subdued of late. Actually, honorable members are more subdued than usual and, going by the looks on their faces, all might not be rosy in the revered chambers.
And yet you would expect them to be smiling all the way to their constituencies, considering they will soon be sitting on seats worth Sh200,000. Besides, they still pretty much call the shots before governors and senators sneak in to dilute their stranglehold on CDF funds.
But alas, things may not always be what they seem! It is said many honorable members turned down a soft mortgage loan issued to them by the Clerk of the Assembly to purchase houses. Shockingly, some of them seem ready to take off and never come back to the âbloodyâ house as one of them angrily calls it. The once shiny faces have now become a forlorn example of how not to waste five years gnawing at skinless bones and parroting to an empty gallery.
Fact is many of our venerable leaders are running low on cash â the credit crunch notwithstanding. It is not for nothing that Parliament never seems to have quorum nowadays. Perhaps most of the members are out on the streets hustling for a quick buck â or ducking creditors.
From issuing bouncing cheques and inability to meet rent obligations, some MPs are whispered to be so hard hit they have taken to lying low like Ole Ntimamaâs infamous envelope. That is why, for instance, you will notice that certain MPs who had made a career out of attacking the Prime Minister seem to have gone mute!
It is said that some sitting members take home less than Sh20,000 a month â peanuts that barely last a week. Now you have an idea why they rose up as one against the Kenya Revenue Authority. Taxing those peanuts would have rendered many of them destitute.
Just last week, a honourable Member charged that his colleagues had been compromised to let the Central Bank Governor off the hook over the near collapse of the shilling. Most telling was the allegation that some MPs had been bribed with as little as Sh5,000 â a bribe no self-respecting police station commander, whose salary is a mere Sh40,000, would accept.
A member whose antics captivated the nation just after his election suddenly went quiet and no longer âswingsâ drinks like he used to. The MP, a darling of reporters, used to pint and indulge them in expensive hotels while wining with exotic women from the orient, his preferred taste. He has since gone docile and is rumoured to be heavily in debt. So where does the loot go?
According to Sharon, a young beauty who cavorts with a Member of Parliament, she gets an allowance because she has his baby. This is in addition to Sh50,000 in rent and a car loan that he is servicing for her. And we havenât factored in other âfringe benefitsâ that come with the deal.