Was The Car Grant A Bribe To Have The BBI Approved By The Mca’s?
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has approved the Ksh4.5 billion car grant President Uhuru Kenyatta offered Members of the County Assembly (MCA).
In a letter signed by SRC Chairperson Lyn Mengich, the commission reviewed car loan benefits to a transport facilitation benefit in form of a car grant.
The commission further noted that the grant was payable to the county speakers and members of the county assembly.
“Conversion of the car loan facility to a car grant will be undertaken within the available car loan facility funds of Ksh4.5 billion and will not affect the expenditure ceiling “Upon conversion, the existing car loan shall cease and the speakers and Members of the County Assembly who have already benefited on the existing car loan shall convert their car loan to transport facilitation benefit in form of a car grant,” read the notice in part.
The commission added that the benefit was only applicable to the current speakers and MCAs.
Kenyatta, in late January, pledged to help MCAs achieve their demands for a Ksh2 million car grant each. The total cost comes to about Ksh4.5 billion which any have termed as too expensive for a struggling economy.
His assurance was welcomed by the legislators who in turn promised to support the BBI Referendum Bill 2020 whose fate now lies in the hands of county assemblies.
According to the SRC, MCAs are entitled to car loans of up to Ksh2 million to be paid back on a three percent interest rate within their term in office.
MPs, on the other hand, are able to access a Ksh5 million car grant, in addition to a Ksh7 million car loan which MCAs have argued they also deserve as they too carry out a legislative function.
So far, two counties, Siaya and Kisumu, have passed the bill in preparation for a referendum to alter the constitution.
Uhuru’s assurance to MCAs, however, rattled a section of the political class who regarded it as a bribe to have the BBI approved by the MCAs with chances that the legislators would not read the document.