National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo have disowned the decision by the House leadership to demand compensation for MPs because their current term will be cut short.
Mr Midiwo also criticised the Nation for reporting on the resolution reached at the House’s leadership retreat at the Serena Beach Hotel in Mombasa on Friday and Saturday last week.
The story published Monday was based on a set of resolutions approved by the lawmakers on Saturday.
It was the first resolution on the five-page document and read: “Given the date of the next general elections (August 8, 2017), it is now apparent that the term of the current 11th Parliament will be lesser than five years.”
“In this regard, the Parliamentary Service Commission ought to explore the possibility of a compensation mechanism in lieu of the shortened term, which may be factored in the 2017/2018 National Budget.”
A substantial number of MPs had left the venue of the meeting by the time the resolutions were adopted.
Mr Midiwo claimed that the matter was not discussed, while in fact it was, and that the Nation was unfair to Parliament and MPs by reporting on the resolutions agreed upon by the House leadership.
“Generally, the meeting was agreed that there is nothing that can be done regarding the date of the elections as August 8 next year,” said Mr Midiwo. “It would be wrong to bash Parliament while only the leadership was invited and the media was there.”
COMPENSATION FOR 8 MONTHS
Mr Muturi said the point made at the retreat was that the Supreme Court's 2012 ruling that the 11th Parliament must sacrifice eight months was final.
“I don’t understand where the issue of salaries for eight months comes from. Everybody knows that salaries are earned. They are never anticipated. The meeting did not state that anybody would be asked to pay that,” said Mr Muturi.
Given that there are a total 416 lawmakers — 349 in the National Assembly and 67 in the Senate — earning an average of Sh1 million a month, taxpayers would have coughed up Sh3.3 billion.
The decision, which would have meant that MPs are paid for work they haven’t done, would have emboldened members of county assemblies, who have moved to court to demand the compensation.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria on Monday criticised the decision as ludicrous and selfish and said it lent credence to his assertion that Kenya is over-represented.