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Moses Kuria wrong on ‘over-representation’

By Kariuki Muiri | December 9th 2015

An article by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria that seems to suggest Kenya is over-represented needs a response.

Kuria appears to have badly mixed up issues on economy, Constitution and personal emotions. Instead of prescribing medicine for a cough, he suggests we cut off the throat.

First, Kenya needs macro-representation after decades of neglect by central government. Kenya needs ‘carpet bombing’ with resources everywhere so as to pull its huge poverty-stricken populations out of horrific squalor.

Kuria appears to suggest that the wage bill is high because of this ‘over-representation’ factor. But nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that the Executive has turned the other way as the political class continues to harass the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) into submission.

The truth is that Kenya needs exactly this kind of representation but with pay commensurate with the gross domestic product (GDP). This works out to a net monthly take-home pay of Sh100,000 for MPs and Sh75,000 for MCAs which would save Kenya scores of billions annually.

Secondly, it is MPs representation that should be cut, not senators. The post-Constitution role of MPs is to make national laws unlike senators who make county laws. To make national laws, you do not need so many MPs. Kenya can do very well with merely 47 MPs representing all counties.

County-based development model continues to infuse badly-needed resources, of course with lots of theft and wastage. However it is the work of the Executive to enforce the rule of law because the president took an oath of office to protect lives and property.

The economy is not doing sub-optimally because of the Constitution and over-representation as pedestrian thinking appears to be suggesting, but because the President has failed to enforce the rule of law. That is the long and short of it.

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