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Opposition leader Raila tells off MPs for demanding pay rise

By Rawlings Otieno | December 2nd 2018
African Union envoy Raila Odinga. [Collins Oduor/Standard]

With legislators headed for a showdown in parliament this week, Opposition leader Raila Odinga has joined President Uhuru Kenyatta in condemning a controversial bill seeking to improve their perks.

Although the MPs have planned to ensure the Parliamentary Service Commission Bill, 2018 sails through despite growing public condemnation over its burden to the taxpayer, Raila has equally warned that passing the bill will hurt Kenyans more.

In a statement sent to newsroom on Sunday evening by his spokesman Dennis Onyango, Raila appealed to Members of Parliament to appreciate that the country is struggling with huge debts that cut through the broad spectrum of the economy and deficits strangling specific critical sectors.

“The Parliamentary Service Commission Bill is a case of Grand Larceny and an anti-people and insensitive demand that should be disowned and rejected as inappropriate and unacceptable to a great majority of Kenyans if not all, at this time,” he said.

The African Union (AU) Infrastructure Envoy also said that the pay hike conspiracy by MPs is coming at a time other public sector employees such as teachers, nurses and civil servants are going through pay restraint and are generally accepting less pay for much work.

“I am appealing to members of parliament to appreciate that the country is struggling with huge debts that cut through the broad spectrum of our economy and deficits strangling specific critical sectors,” he said.

The bill seeks to enhance the legislators’ perks, including house allowance, car loans, enhanced insurance cover, and a special kitty in each of the 290 constituencies for monitoring and evaluation of national government projects.

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