Kenyan MPs pile pressure on Uhuru

July 15, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 15 – Members of Parliament are not relenting in their push for the implementation of a hefty salary increment they approved recently.

Ikolomani MP Dr Bonny Khalwale now wants House Speaker Kenneth Marende to rule on Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta’s refusal to implement a resolution passed by the House after the adoption of the Akiwumi report.

"What are the constitutional implications of the Executive or his representative defying a resolution of this National Assembly? What would this House choose to do given that the Finance Minister has not been denied an opportunity in this House to state what his thinking is on this great matter," he said.

Dr Khalwale cautioned Mr Kenyatta, who has refused to table Bills to effect the increase, against any attempt to go against the resolution of the House.

The Ikolomani MP also wants Mr Marende to rule on Mr Kenyatta’s decision to respond to the issue in public, instead of making his stand known in Parliament.

He also wants to know why the Finance Minister created an impression that MPs planned to shoot down the Finance Bill while they didn’t have such a plot.

Mr Khalwale said that traditionally, Parliament approved the Finance Bill in September.

The MPs have insisted that there would be no arm-twisting in Parliament, and that the crisis may be solved through negotiation with the Treasury, since Mr Kenyatta had personally indicated there was room for talks.

The Speaker will make a ruling next week on Tuesday on the actions of the Finance Minister.

MPs have frustrated efforts by the government to go on recess after the adjournment Motion failed to get a seconder.

Most MPs on the government side walked out of the Chamber immediately after question time

They want the Finance Minister to table four Bills that will legalise their move to award themselves a huge pay increase that will see an MP earn Sh1.09m up from the current Sh851,000 monthly salary.

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.

On Wednesday, trade unions and civil society groups said they were planning to petition President Kibaki to dissolve Parliament after the referendum on the proposed Constitution, if the MPs decline to pass the Finance Bill.


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