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No good deed goes unpunished

PALAVER
By - | May 4th 2013

No good deed goes unpunished

The National Assembly is making good its threat to disband the Salaries and Remuneration Commission. To some this may seem ungrateful response to an institution that was tasked with looking after the interests of the public purse. The fate of the Serem led commission brings back memories of the disbandment of the Kenya Ant- Corruption Commission at precisely the moment when former director PLO Lumumba was flexing his muscle on corruption barons.  This indeed, is politics where apparently, no good deed goes unpunished!

Ngilu, Balala’s ‘double lives’

Take the President’s word for it. If Uhuru Kenyatta’s word is to be believed, Charity Ngilu and Najib Balala’s political hats are off, replaced with those of professionals. But one imagines that if the duo overcome the small hurdle of being vetted by Parliament, it will be easy to dance around the issue of which hat best fits at whichever moment. Indeed, whatever proverbial “hat” they’ll be wearing at any given time may depend on that which they are doing. They may tactfully gravitate from wearing the “hat” of a professional at one time and put on the “hat” of a politician at other moments.

Of Parliament’s power

Considering that the National Assembly’s power to influence their own perks is even greater than those of a trade union, MPs may not have rushed to welcome Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli’s recent public support for their salary demands. Indeed the supremacy of the MPs is such that if they cannot do what they want within the law, then they always have the option of changing the law. Or better still; as the Serem led Salaries and Remuneration Commission are about to find out, the National Assembly equally has the power to do away with obstacles. To borrow a football parlance, MP’s have the power to move the goalposts in their favour!

Irony of public activists

A pattern has emerged in Kenya where chants of Haki yetu can often be heard whenever a group of people feel aggrieved. The only surprise to this well-established pattern is the lack of hue and cry over the preference for non- politicians as Cabinet Secretaries. No protests have been staged over this form of discrimination. Indeed, Najib Balala and Charity Ngilu have only made the list of Cabinet nominees on the basis of the President’s assurance that they cease to be politicians. A discrimination that one would note, has escaped attention of the perennial agitators. Where is Cotu’s Francis Atwoli when you need him!

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