Bill on MPs’ enhanced pay sail through critical stage

A Bill proposing enhanced perks for MPs has sailed through a critical stage, paving the way for its subsequent passage and assent.

MPs yesterday concluded debate on the Parliamentary Service Bill, 2018, which they unanimously supported.

The controversial Bill will now proceed to the Third Reading for amendments before the MPs can pass and send it to President Uhuru Kenyatta for possible assent.

The MPs were yesterday unapologetic about their demand for enhanced travel allowance, official vehicle and house allowance. They also want their medical cover extended to more than one wife.

The medical scheme provides for Sh10 million inpatient cover per family, Sh300,000 for outpatient and Sh150,000 for maternity plus Sh75,000 for dental care.

The cover caters for the MP, one spouse and four children aged under 25 years.

They said their rights had been abused for long and that it was time they were treated as important State officers.

Adan Keynan, a member of the Parliamentary Service Commission, rallied the MPs to back a Bill he said would restore the dignity of elected leaders.

He also reminded the President that he had defended MPs’ rights when he served in the commission, pleading with him to assent to the Bill once it was submitted for his signature.

The MPs further want promotion in their ranking, as State officers, to position seven after the President, Deputy President, Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate, the Chief Justice and governors.

"Are we lesser State officers? Why are we being abused? Why are our rights being denied?" asked the Eldas MP.

Mr Keynan said legislators had been referred to as “mpigs” and dimwits but would not be cowed by “busybodies”.

“I took an oath of office (PSC) to really support you (MPs). We need to serve as members in a dignified manner as stipulated in the Constitution,” he said.

The House seeks to lock out the Salaries and Remuneration Commission in the process of determining salaries of the 416 MPs and the powers given to PSC, whose members are MPs.