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Kenya Speaker demands pay Bills

NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 21- The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende on Wednesday directed Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to publish and table the Bills required for the increase of MPs\’ salaries or appear before Parliament to give sufficient reasons why he does not want to do so.

In his ruling on the Finance Minister’s refusal to implement the Akiwumi Report, the Speaker said Mr Kenyatta should respect House resolutions.

"If on the other hand, as it is perfectly possible, there are serious public and legal considerations that stand in the way of such publication, I will hold the firm view that the appropriate forum for the Minister to have stressed this position would be on the floor of the House," he said.

He added: "I think it is a legitimate expectation of this House that the Bills will be published."

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale had last week asked the Speaker to rule on the implications of Mr Kenyatta\’s failure to table the Bills.

The Speaker said that there were ongoing talks between Parliament and The Treasury to see an end to the impasse that has seen MPs plotting to shoot down the Finance Bill if the report is not implemented.

The Parliamentary Committee on Implementation can also look into the resolution of the House and decide on the way forward, he said.

At the same time, Mr Marende defended Parliament against allegations of greed saying that the hefty hike was as a result of recommendations of the taskforce.

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"It is a matter of the rule of law (and) we should stand tall in upholding the rule of law because we are following the law," he said amid foot thumping from MPs in the chamber.

MPs have frustrated efforts by the government to have them take a break after an adjournment Motion failed to get a seconder.

They want Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to table four Bills that will legalise their move to award themselves a huge pay increase to Sh1.09 million per month up from the current Sh851,000.

Mr Kenyatta has, however, indicated that he will not give in to the legislators\’ demands saying the increment was not factored in the 2010/2011 Budget and doing so would lead to a spiral of wage demands from other sectors.

Meanwhile, the Speaker is expected to order investigations into the conduct of Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo after he allegedly dispraged the intergrity of his fellow MPs.

Joint Government Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo said he would write to the Speaker to look into the matter that the MP made disparaging remarks about his colleguages while at a public rally.

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