MPs salary review team begins work

March 10, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – A tribunal set up to review salaries of Members of Parliament began its work on Tuesday after the swearing-in of two new members Farah Hussein Abdi and Phoebe Asiyo.

The 11-member tribunal, chaired by Justice (rtd) Akilano Akiwumi is mandated to review the remuneration of MPs as well as other National Assembly staff and present its report within four months.

National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende said the team should address taxation of MPs which he noted was a major concern expressed by the public.

“We are confident that they will do a job that will be to the best interest of the country including concerns by Kenyans as to the amount of tax that MPs pay. They will ensure we live within parameters of law even as we talk about tax,” he said.

The other nine members were sworn-in two weeks ago.

Their terms of reference include reviewing terms and conditions, facilities available within the precincts of Parliament, salaries, allowances and benefits of Parliamentary Service Commission members and employees.

The Speaker said the tribunal will collect views from the public and other Parliaments to compile its recommendations, which will be tabled in Parliament for consideration.

“If that report is adopted the next thing will be to prepare a Bill and, if need be, there will be amendments made to the constitution,” he said.

It will be upon the tribunal to decide when the new law on MPs salaries will be implemented.

The 11-member committee consists of, Akilano Akiwumi (Chairman), Dr Karau Stephen, Mrs Kivuni Connie, Mrs Maneno Betty, Namasake Jason, Dabalen Dominic, Chirchir Joseph, Irungu Muthoni (Joint secretary) and Odongo Patrick Lutta (Joint Secretary).

MPs have been put on the spot for forcing the Finance Minister to remove the clause that was compelling them to pay tax.

This means the tribunal has a heavy task of meeting the public’s expectations which nothing less than to either to reduce the MPs’ perks or get their allowances taxed.

Kenyan MPs are possibly the best paid in the world, drawing a monthly salary and allowances worth about Sh850, 000.
In a developed country like Germany, MPs are paid the ratio between the rich and the poor, so they fall in the middle class.

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