Ex- councillors’ cash demands unfounded, smack of mischief

There is cause for worry when senators back calls for pay-outs to former councillors, completely oblivious of the prevailing economic situation.

It reinforces the growing belief among the public that their elected leaders have a preoccupation with self rather than the country.

Viewed in context, this could easily pass for a political scheme designed to exert undue pressure on a Government already in financial straits; with the shilling weakening against the dollar.

This further goes to show how insensitive senators are to the plight of teachers, doctors and nurses who are agitating for better pay yet only a few of the senators have raised their voices, and even then, at the wrong forum, thus making their calls nothing more than a perfunctory quest for political expediency.

Only a month ago, the Budgets and Appropriation Committee of the National Assembly was presented with a bill by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi seeking to guarantee all former Members of Parliament are paid Sh100,000 in pension monthly.

When this is tied in to the move by the senators, it reaffirms that Kenya is an unequal society where the interests of politicians override national interests.

Former councillors are known to Kenyans as leaders who exhibited very little patriotism and intelligence. They are a group of individuals who threw caution to the wind and constantly engaged each other in fisticuffs in the chambers, wreaking havoc to anything they could lay their hands on.

Councillors are largely responsible for the loss of public land that city and municipal councils under the then Ministry of Local Government hived off with the knowledge and blessing of councillors to reward party loyalists. A visit to any of the towns in Kenya will reveal that public recreational grounds disappeared after they were taken over by councillors and their cronies.

It is ironical then that such thoroughly discredited individuals should even contemplate laying stake to public money. As a matter of fact, they should be taken to task over the illegal acquisition of public land instead of seeking to raid public coffers.

The Government, and indeed the public, should not entertain their misguided demands. There is the danger of emboldening virtually every individual that held public office to come forward and make some outrageous demands that can only destabilise the country. After councillors, former provincial commissioners, ministers, district commissioners and many others may come forward to be paid  as well.

It is laughable that people claiming to live in abject poverty should demand to have free parking space in towns, be given a pension that is equal to the salaries they used to earn, have a right to chair committees at counties and draw a salary even as they get paid a pension. There is a clear pointer to mischief, which the Government and peace loving Kenyans should nip in the bud.

The manner of bringing together 6,000 former councillors, who the Constitution no longer recognises, points to political machinations possibly centred on the upcoming 2017 General Election.

Who has the ability to bring together 6,000 people who claim they cannot make ends meet to Nairobi where they ate and slept in hotels that were paid for? Who paid for the venue where the meeting was held since the former councillors claim to be desperate even after serving the country with dedication? We must remain alert to thwart individuals who want to hold us to ransom.