Sh2.5b payout for MPs should be stopped

In March, inflation hit 10.28 per cent, up from 9.04 per cent in February. This is the highest rate since May 2012, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows. Kenya has been affected by the raging drought and the Kenya Red Cross Society has sent out an appeal to individuals and companies to donate food, water, and clothing to the affected people.

Therefore, news that Treasury has cleared the way for MPs to award themselves Sh2.5 billion for eight months of no work is not only baffling and shocking but also, to say the least, mind-boggling. If that is the length of time the MPs’ five-year term will be cut short by the General Election, won’t the MCAs and governors demand the same and make Kenya bankrupt?

We are just recovering from the doctors’ and lecturers’ strikes, whose bone of contention was money. Why is Treasury selective? Why reward MPs and not doctors, who devote their time treating Kenyans? The allocation for employing new teachers is a drop in the ocean.

This Sh2.5 billion for 349 members of the National Assembly and 62 members of the Senate should be stopped by Kenyans. Allocation for cancer patients is just Sh700 million, enough to treat 200 patients a year, while there are more than 500 patients who need treatment. Medicine is expensive. This money that each MP will get is enough to build 10 schools and one hospital and buy medicine. Are Kenya’s budget priorities right?

Many people are sliding into poverty because they cannot afford basic needs such as food. Schools need more teachers. Roads are in a poor state, and the drought has not ended. Business people have been complaining that there is no money in circulation. Veronica Onjoro, Mombasa