MPs plot to cut down commissions

By Geoffrey Mosoku

Nairobi, Kenya: Members of Parliament are now plotting to slash the size of constitutional commissions and review the terms of serving commissioners.

In what appears as fighting back over their salary reductions, the MPs says they will introduce amendments to the laws creating the commissions to reduce the number of commissioners to at least three from the maximum number of nine.

The MPs further want the commissioners to work on part time and not full time, saying some the commissioners are too idle yet they are highly remunerated which turns out to be a burden to the exchequer.

Their immediate target is the Salaries and Remuneration Commission led by Sarah Serem and that of the Constitutional Implementation Commission (CIC) led by Charles Nyachae.

Apart of the CIC, and SRC, other commissions including the Independent Elections and Boundary Commission (IEBC), National Police Service Commission (NPSC), Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) among others.

“Some of these commissioners have no job and a commission like CIC is reduced to one man show; that’s why you see Nyachae commenting on every single matter in this country,” Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo said.

Gumbo while in his contributing to the presidential speech, said that if the Jubilee government has to achieve its quest to reduce the wage bill, the commissions have to be reduced.

“These commissioners have to reduce to a minimum of three who are on a part time basis,” he said in parliament during yesterday’s morning session.

His proposal was supported by MPs led by Leader of Majority Aden Duale (Garisaa Town) and MPs John Mbadi (Suba), Kabando wa Kabando (Mukurweini) and Jimmy Angweyi (Kitutu Chache North). 

“If we want to reduce the wage bill, there is no need to have big commissions with nine commissioners who are on permanent basis,” Duale said adding that the motion to amend the laws will be discussed once it’s brought to the house.

Mbadi said that it was immoral that Serem had proposed to reduce the MPs’ perks yet she had tripled hers from about 300,000 to 900,000 shillings a month.

Kabando accused the Serem led SRC of denying MPs their pension even as the government was expanding to expand social security and pension schemes for all Kenyans.

“It’s ironical that the government wants to expand the pension schemes to cover all workers yet someone wants to deny the peoples representatives (MPs) their right to the same scheme,” the TNA MP retorted.

Angwenyi who has been one of the vocal MPs in articulating for their salaries, said that just like the legislature, the commissions should attach their detailed calendar and work plans to justify budgetary allocations for the house to approve the funds.

The MPs were contributing to the motion that approved the house sitting calendar for the whole of this year. 

The legislators said that by having a detailed calendar, Kenyans will appreciate that they are working with Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno proposing that parliament appoints aggressive public relations exercise to educate the public on the workings of the house.