Raila opposes Sh3.7m MPs gratuity
- Proposals by lawmakers to award themselves the hefty amount are unconstitutional, says Prime Minister
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has rejected proposals by MPs to award themselves Sh3.7 million each as gratuity at the end of the current term.
In a letter to Attorney-General Githu Muigai dated May 14, Mr Odinga described as “unconstitutional” amendments to the National Assembly (Remuneration) Act through the Finance Bill 2011 that raised the gratuity paid to each MP to Sh3.7 million from the previous Sh1.5 million.
“The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has brought to my attention the amendments made to the National Assembly (Remuneration) Act through the Finance Bill 2011 authorising humongous payments to all members of Parliament,” he stated.
“These amendments are unconstitutional more particularly because they were done in contravention of the mandate of the said Commission and also in derogation of the Constitutional provisions,” he said.
The PM also ordered Prof Muigai to withdraw the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2012 that seeks to amend the National Assembly (Remuneration) Act which is set for debate this week.
The Bill proposes to amend the National Assembly (Remuneration) Act to expand categories of members who may receive allowances to include the Deputy Speaker and members of the Speaker’s panel.
Currently, only the chairperson, vice-chairperson and members of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) as well as chairpersons and members of departmental committees are entitled to the allowances. The PSC is chaired by the Speaker.
If adopted, the Deputy Speaker will, for example, be paid Sh200,000 per month as responsibility allowance which, when backdated to July 2008, will see him receive about Sh12 million.
Members of the Speaker’s panel and the PSC commissioners will receive Sh100,000 per month backdated to July 2003, which will eventually see them take home Sh8.4 million.
“The effect of the intended amendment will be to commit the Kenyan taxpayer to pay humongous allowances to certain members of Parliament without following the laid-down constitutional procedure for amelioration of salaries and allowances,” the PM said.
The stand taken by the PM is likely to put him on a collision course with MPs who have in the past risen above party and ethnic differences and unanimously passed amendments that touch on their salaries and allowances.