More leaders want number of elective posts reduced

Tuesday September 25 2018

wage bill

Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki. He wants the wage bill to reduce. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GITONGA MARETE
By GITONGA MARETE
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GRACE GITAU
By GRACE GITAU
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Leaders from Mt Kenya region have supported the push to reduce the number of elective positions in a bid to reduce government spending that has resulted in increased taxes.

Lawmakers in the region are backing proposals to scrap the woman representative category and reduce the number of constituencies.

In a televised press briefing last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta - while announcing proposals to cut non-priority spending - cited an expensive constitution as part of the reason for taking the austerity measures.

“The enjoyment of our new rights is expensive, unprecedentedly so … We have to pay for the new constitutional order, and the public services on which Kenyans depend alike. These cost money,” the President said.

Every month Kenyans pay the 67 senators, the 349 members of the National Assembly, 1,400 members of the county assemblies, members of 16 independent commissions as well as the Sh1 trillion that has been pumped to the counties.

WAGE BILL

Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki is leading the push for constitutional change by advocating for a lean government and legislature.

Mr Kindiki said there were too many independent commissions and legislators that Kenya’s economy cannot support.

He said that commissioners should be employed on a part-time basis.

“We for instance have more than 10 independent commissions with permanent commissioners earning over Sh1 million. If you put in the cost of paying salaries for their staff and secretariats, it is a lot of money.

“The minimum number of commissioners should be three but we went for the maximum of nine, which is draining the economy,” he said at Africa Inland Church in Meru, where he represented Deputy President William Ruto during a fundraiser.

COUNTIES

Speaking at the same function, Imenti North MP Rahim Dawood said counties should be reduced to a maximum 20 and the number of constituencies reverted to the initial 210.

“We should have a system that allows MPs to sit in the county assembly because at the moment there is a disconnect between the National Assembly and what happens at the county level,” he said.

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro supported the Constitutional Amendment Bill by Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei, which seeks to abolish her seat, and took issue with the nomination of lawmakers to represent youth and women.

“Why do we need to nominate women? If Kenyans feel that they want to be represented by a woman they should vote for her,” he said.