Go slow on hefty allowances, prioritize Kenyans’ needs
Clerics have cautioned MPs against re-introducing their sitting, car allowances and mileage saying that this will further burden the already suffering Kenyans.
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula during an induction workshop for MPs held last week assured the lawmakers that their car allowances, mileage reimbursements, mortgage and other benefits will be reinstated.
Wetangula said that he was leading talks with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson Lyn Mengich geared towards restoring the lucrative allowances.
The clerics led by Glory Outreach Assembly Bishop David Thagana said that MPs should instead focus on addressing the myriad of challenges Kenyans are facing including hunger and the high cost of living.
Speaking while marking the International Day of Peace at the Church in Kahawa Wendani, the Bishop said that the re-introduction of the Parliamentarians’ hefty perks, which were abolished by SRC on August 9, will augment the wage bill which currently stands at sh 930.5 billion annually.
“We are shocked that barely a month after the MPs were elected by Kenyans the first thing they are advocating for is the return of the hefty allowances. We wonder why they should be paid to sit in parliament and the job they asked for. This is a wrong footing by the 13th Parliament and they should stop their greed persuasions and instead work together to address the challenges the electorate are facing,” Thagana said.
The Bishop said that it was ill-timed for the lawmakers to be pushing for the return of their allowances at a time millions of Kenyans are facing acute hunger and especially in the arid and semi-arid regions.
“The cost of living is very high, most Kenyans cannot afford to buy many commodities. There are our brothers and sisters in this Nation who are in the jaws of hunger due to prolonged drought. These are the issues that the lawmakers should prioritize to find a solution that will be of help to our people,” the Bishop said.
His sentiments were echoed by Pastor Humphrey Muilu who said that SRC should not be coerced into giving in to the MPs demands saying that the commission should cushion Kenyans from a bloated wage bill.
“Let the SRC recommendations be followed. We urge the MPs to shelve their appetite for hefty perks and focus on working to improve the livelihoods of the electorate. It paints a bad picture for them that they are too much focused on enriching themselves at the expense of suffering Kenyans,” the cleric said.
Reverend Phyllis Wangechi called on the leaders to serve their people with integrity and exercise servant leadership.
“We’ve witnessed many leaders seeking elective positions to advance their personal and selfish interests instead of serving their electorate. It’s high time leaders in this country uphold servant leadership by addressing the plight of their electorate first and always prioritizing their people,” she said.