, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 7 – The National Civil Society Congress (NCSC) has expressed its opposition to the demands by Senators to be paid more allowances, warning the move will bring down the country’s economy.
The organisation’s leader Morris Odhiambo pointed out that the country has a debt burden of over Sh2 trillion and does not have adequate funds even to pay civil servants.
While giving an example of the passage of the law establishing the County Development Boards, Odhiambo stated that the Senate has compromised its role of defending the interests of counties and are instead focusing on their own “selfish interests”.
“The only priority that our leaders have is to enrich themselves. There is nothing else they are thinking about. We know that for example, we still do not have adequate teachers and the reason that has been given very often is that we do not have enough money,” he said at a press conference on Sunday.
He called on Senators to keep the interests of Kenyans ahead of their own by not asking for more money, but instead focus on development.
“The Senate has in very many ways compromised its role of defending the interests of counties and county governments. They have enacted laws and supported the enactment of laws that undermine the counties and governors,” he stated.
Senators are seeking Sh2.4 million shillings each for offices, staffing and allowances to operate in their counties among other demands.
Odhiambo stressed that as the civil Society, they shall support any moves to disband the Senate because it has neglected the undertaking of its functions.
If a report by the Task Force on Senators’ Welfare chaired by Murang’a Senator Kembi Gitura is adopted by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) then each Senator will get the following:
– Sh2.4 million for purchase of furniture at the commencement of each term.
– Sh780, 000 as monthly allocation for personnel emoluments with a 10pc advantage for counties with more than four constituencies.
– Sh420, 000 monthly allocation for consumables and office operations.
– Sh168, 000 monthly rent allocation for county office within Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu and Sh140,000 for those in other areas.
– A four wheel drive vehicle not exceeding 3000cc for each county.
– Nominated members be allocated monies to cater for a secretary, driver and personal assistant and shall operate from an office in the capital provided by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).
– That there be a county allowance of half a million shillings.
The taskforce armed with these demands has already met with the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) which is supposed to review the grievances and give the way forward.
The Senators have occasionally complained that they are unable to fully operate and thus the proposals to the Parliamentary Service Commission.
The commission is expected to meet and consider the contents of the report by the taskforce appointed by the Speaker this Thursday.