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Smell the onion, something is cooking in speaker Weta's kitchen, but it's not for us

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula.

I will, at least for now, desist from any commentary relating to the pictures circulating online, with singer Juliani pushing a pram bearing his son with his wife and former Machakos First Lady, Lilian Ng’ang’a. The other picture had former Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua wheeling a light luggage in New York.

As our people say, mtoto si nguo, utaomba mtu, so the parameters of comparison appear misplaced. But perhaps it’s not, judging from ongoing conversations between the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) boss Lyn Mengich and newly-elected House Speaker, Moses Wetangula.

Weta is on record, just months ago, wondering why former Prezzo UK had provided a subsidy on unga and fuel, but not other food items like kitunguu. After all, it’s the desire of every Kenyan household to have smells of onion wafting in the air, a sure sign that a meal is in the making.

Weta argues that incoming Members of Parliament would be inconvenienced after some of their perks and emoluments were taken away. The correct position is that these are new leaders who are yet to receive their first pay. What Weta is referencing are pay parameters from the last Parliament, and what SRC did was to “rationalise” their pay.

After all, many elements of the MPs’ compensation made no sense, such as being paid to sit on committees to discharge parliamentary work. They also received a monthly house allowance of Sh250,000, in spite of a mortgage being offered in their pay package.

But the MPs want much, much more, including car grants and mileage compensation. And it is the hapless Kenyans, more than half of whom survive on less than a meal a day, who will pick the tab. I thought “bottom up” means first getting those at the bottom of the food-chain to eat their fill. Or this doesn’t apply to food?