Cost of MPs week-long induction a 'non-issue', Gladys Shollei says

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei [Stafford Ondego,Standard]

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei says Kenyans should not be concerned about the amount allotted to the ongoing MPs induction exercise.

On Tuesday, September 20, when asked how much Parliament had set aside for the week-long exercise, Shollei stated that Kenyans should be concerned about the impact of the induction process on the members, rather than what it would cost taxpayers.

"I do not know how much it is but I know it is not a lot. If we want legislators to understand the budget making process, this is a cost that must be spent with pride because at some point it will bear the fruits," the deputy speaker said.

"What we should be asking ourselves is, is the undertaking value for money? We want legislators who are very prepared, to oversight the legislation and to be able to pass policies that will change the country," she added.

The legislators' induction began yesterday at Safari Park Nairobi, and will end on Saturday, September 24. The exercise for 349 legislators enters day two.

The induction mostly targets newly-elected lawmakers. They will be taken through legislative processes such as how to sponsor bills, table petitions and issue personal statements.

The Standard has learnt that part of the agenda today is the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF).

Security matters will also form part of the discussions members will be taken through as they embark on performing their duties.

The MPs will be familiarized with House rules and procedures, Budget processes and Public Finance, and Law formulation tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday before the session concludes on Saturday.

During the commencement of the MPs' induction yesterday, September 19, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula said that he was lobbying for the reinstatement of legislators' perks that had been eliminated by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

Wetangula assured MPs that they will not forfeit any benefits obtained during the 12th Parliament prior to the August 9 General Election.

He said the Public Service Commission(PSC) has held discussions with the SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich to ensure that MPs get what their predecessors earned.

The SRC in August scrapped sitting allowances in plenary sessions in what the commission said will save taxpayers one billion shillings annually.

The commission however retained committee sitting allowance. MPs earn Sh7,500 for every sitting and the abolishment of the allowances for plenary sessions in the National Assembly and the senate is meant to ease the pressure on the public sector wage bill which is currently at Sh930.5 billion.

Senators retreated to Naivasha for their induction exercise, which was opened by Senate Speaker Amason Kingi on Tuesday, September 20.

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