Why SRC could be punching air in MPs allowance threats
SEE ALSO :Naivasha status to be reviewed by SRCMinority Leader in the National Assembly John Mbadi summed up the view of the legislators over the threats, claiming that the water was long under the bridge over the allowances, implying that there was little, if any, that Ms Mechich would do now. “This is a stale case. It is shadow boxing by the SRC,” argued Mbadi even as his colleagues told off the commission. “We need to disband this commission as soon as possible. We should not be drawn into these cat-fights every other time,” said the Suba MP, a position shared by his Dagoretti North counterpart Simba Arati. By threatening to recover the money from the MPs, Mengich is walking a path often trodden by her predecessor Ms Sarah Serem with little success. Serem was in constant fights with the legislators, earning herself praise from Kenyans. But realistically, Serem never got the better of the MPs in all the duels as the legislators always had their way.
SEE ALSO :Fury as MPs feast on your taxes againFirst duel That SRC has remained toothless in curbing the arbitrary award of higher pay by MPs was witnessed immediately after their first duel in 2013 when Serem and her team capped the basic salary of legislators at Sh532,500, reducing it from the over Sh800,000 that the legislators earned in the 10th Parliament. But after haggling and nasty exchanges, SRC and the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) – which is the employer of the legislators – sealed a deal that eventually saw SRC drop the ceilings for the MPs allowances, giving them the leeway to increase their take-home pay to beyond what they even used to earn. While the basic salary was structured by SRC to keep rising each year by an average of Sh44,375, peaking at Sh710,000 on the fifth year of their term, the MPs had been granted a blank-cheque through unchecked allowances that made them end up receiving in excess of Sh1.2 million a month. But while the MPs were spoiling for war, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi was calling against the escalation of the debate through the media, instead urging dialogue to settle any dispute over the allowance.
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