Ida’s Rebuttal Of Muthaura’s Offer And Hypocrisy Of Kenyan MPs

When Francis Muthaura, Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, offered a monthly

Ida and Raila At A Campaign Rally

Ida and Raila At A Campaign Rally

allowance of Ksh 400,000 to the wives of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Ida took her time to respond because she had not yet received official notification from Muthaura.

When she did early this week, she rejected the offer although she appreciated Muthaura’s understanding of the cumbrous responsibility she carries along by dint of being the Prime Minister’s consort.

When Bonny Khalwale, the Ikolomani MP, finished digesting Ida’s pleasant rebuttal of Muthaura precipitant overture, the reigning Ikolomani Chieftain rushed to the media with alacrity to praise Ida for her “commendable” decision to snub Muthaura. But Khalwele did not stop there. He urged Mrs Pauline Kalonzo, VPs wife, to follow in Ida’s footsteps and reject the offer.

Probably, my constipation triggered by Khalwele’s outburst could not have advanced into a pain in the azz had Charles Kilonzo, MP for Yatta and Kiema Kilonzo, MP for Mutito, not joined in the chorus with even new compositions – that the Ksh 400,000 allowances “were a waste of money”.

Kenyan MPs are the last crooks who should be delivering public lectures on allowances which amount to wastage of public funds. This is because by virtue of their million shilling salaries and huge allowances they awarded themselves in January 2003, Kenyan MPs are the biggest robbers of the Kenyan Tax payer.

Once the MPs of the 9th Parliament were sworn in on 9th January 2003, their first task was to embark on the amendment of the National Assembly Remuneration Act No 9 of 1975 in order to increase their salaries and emoluments to sickening levels.

When they entered Parliament, MPs salaries stood at Ksh 395,000. After the amendments, the new salary was Ksh 495,000. They voted for a housing allowance of Ksh 70,000 on top of Ksh 8 million which every MP is entitled to for house purchase. The amendment also went with a car grant of Ksh 3.3 million and a monthly car allowance of Ksh 75,000 (Ksh 900 per year). After every year, the MPs proposed a winding up allowance of Ksh 300,000 which totals to Ksh 1.5 million for every MP during a sitting period of five years. Multiply that by 210 MPs and the extent of looting of Tax payer’s money begins to take shape.

As part of the new deal worked out exclusively by the MPs, the Honorables got entitled to Ksh 60,000 entertainment allowance, a monthly “extraneous allowance” of Ksh 30,000, and a sitting allowance of Ksh 3,000 per sitting. The Assembly sits four times a week and so the total amount of weekly sitting allowance stood at Ksh 12,000 ie more than the monthly wage of an ordinary skilled worker in Kenya.

To top it up, the MPs voted for a monthly “Constituency allowance” of Ksh 1.6 million per month (Ksh 20 million per year) managed by a Committee hand-picked by the MP from the assembly of sycophants they run in the village. The increments converted Kenyan MPs to some of the best paid in the world but for the MPs, this was acceptable even though the country was staggering under a foreign debt of US$ 7 billion.

The greediness was so aggressive that the MPs got paid for days when they had not even become MPs. They were sworn in on 9th January but according to their recommendations, the new emoluments were back dated to January 1st 2003, time when they were not MPs. This defrauded the Tax man of over Ksh 52 million  for the 224 elected MPs, nominated and ex-officio Members of Parliament who were paid 8 days salaries before they took oath of office. Recommendations and amendments went through the four mandatory stages in a record 30 days after which the new President endorsed them on 16th April 2003. The new arrangement caused the National budget to shoot to Ksh 54.1 billion.

Once they entered Parliament this year, the MPs refused to pay taxes even though the Kenyan worker is burdened with a heavy taxation system. Kenyan MPs of the Khalwele type may be thinking that Kenyans forget quickly. They should be the last people seeking cheap publicity with Ida’s welcome rejection of Muthaura’s offer because they are practicing legalized looting of the Kenyan economy.

As Head of Public Service, Muthaura should well have understood the incongruent nature of his bizarre offer to the two women, given that their husbands are millionaires who should be in a position of taking care of their women’s financial needs regardless of whether the undertakiungs are government or private. Who told him that Raila is broke?

In any case, who gave Muthaura powers to single handedly decide the amount of money PM and VPs wives should be entitled to since Kenya is not Muthaura’s family empire? In case he used any law, such laws should be changed immediately because the fate of Tax Payer’s money of the magnitude Muthaura talked about should not, under any circumstance, be decided on by one man sitting in an office under any capacity.

Okoth Osewe