NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – Many of his colleagues now regard him as a betrayer, but Johnson Nduya Muthama has vowed to relentlessly push his colleagues to pay tax and have their huge salary perks sliced.
The first-time MP who represents Kangundo constituency says he is not sure if he will defend his seat in 2012 due to the corruption and irresponsibility associated with MPs.
“If life in the leadership continues like this, I might opt to quit in 2012. It is difficult for me to continue pushing and gaining nothing, but in case I will not be a candidate, I will find other means of serving my people,” he says.
Mr Muthama was the first MP to write a letter to the Clerk of National Assembly asking for the taxation of his allowances.
He first came into the spotlight when he said he would introduce a motion in Parliament to reduce MPs’ salaries drawing strong opposition from almost all the MPs in the 10th Parliament.
For Mr Muthama, it’s an embarrassment to work with people who care less for the ordinary people who voted them to Parliament.
“To serve in a Cabinet of 40 ministers? If I am given a ministerial post I will turn it down. Why spend so much money on allowances, vehicles and offices to feed people who already have while Kenyans are languishing in poverty?” he wonders. “This is a government that people don’t even understand their positions, instead they are doing all their best to out do each other.”
“Ministers in Kenya want to live like Ministers in the United States of America and other developed countries. Why can’t they look at the gap between the rich and the poor, how do you live like that when you are unable to even feed your own people?”
The Gemstone trader also does not understand why they (MPs) should be given car loans and too many luxurious allowances.
Capital News spoke to a resident of Kangundo who was all praises for Mr Muthama. The MP apparently sponsors 58 unprivileged children in his area.
However, he does not want to talk about this, he also does not want to discuss his gemstone business though he admits he has studied gemology in Britain and runs such a business.
“Why should I sit in front of a television talking of achievements and what I am doing when people are dying of hunger? I don’t want to talk about what I have, it is a disgrace and like an abuse to Kenyans,” he says.
Mr Muthama’s bitterness comes out strongly any time he talks of taxes.
“It is a shocking situation, MPs who are the ‘best class of people’ who enact laws of setting criminals free, and make a collection from poor Kenyans yet don’t make a law to compel themselves to pay tax. MPs forced the Acting Finance Minister John Michuki to remove the clause that was taxing us.”
Mr Muthama says his colleagues are a clique of people disinterested in serving people but very determined to squeeze money out of Kenyans.
“I cannot see any big change in 2012, leaders are stealing and stealing money to use it to confuse Kenyans in 2012. They will campaign using helicopters and give voters Sh50 and say that is the furthest they can see. That is a curse, I don’t want to take a single cent from that Parliament,” he says.
The Kangundo MP has very little hope for the Vision 2030. He says it will remain a vision for many more years because, “how do you expect a country that is unable to pay teachers to get Sh33 trillion to improve the City of Nairobi?”
The MP only hopes that Kenyans can liberate themselves by choosing the right leaders and not depending on the freebies they get in exchange of votes.
His message to MPs – “lead by example and show responsibility, think of the people who took you to Parliament.”