Led by greed, Members of Parliament arm-twist Executive

By Standard Reporter

KENYA: Members of Parliament have a long and dubious history of arm-twisting the Government in their quest for higher salaries and allowances.

In January this year, the outgoing MPs forced the then Finance Minister Njeru Githae to effect an amendment to enable them take home millions of shillings as a golden send-off. This was, however, turned down by President Kibaki. Had the president agreed, each MP would have taken home at least Sh9.3 million.

In addition, each of them would have gotten an armed bodyguard, a diplomatic passport and unlimited access to the executive lounge in all the airports within Kenya, this is in addition to a state funeral upon death.

In the late-night deal, the lawmakers quietly amended the law to be paid gratuity at 31 per cent of their Sh200,000 basic monthly salary for every year in service, until August 27, 2010 when the new Constitution was promulgated.

After that date, until the end of their term, they passed that the 31 per cent should be on their gross pay of Sh851,000 per month for every year worked.