Patience urged over Kenya MPs salaries

July 7, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende has termed as ‘premature’ the public outcry over the proposed hefty pay increases for Members of Parliament saying the proposals are yet to be legalised.

Mr Marende said the adoption of the report last week did not complete the process as the specific laws must be amended.

“At this point it is premature to talk about MPs having their salaries or allowances increased because they have not been,” he said.

There has been persistent public fury over the new perks that if implemented will have Kenyan legislators as one the best paid in the world. Various civil society organizations have planned a demonstration on Thursday to oppose the new perks.

An MP monthly pay (basic salary plus allowances) would increase to Sh1.2 million while the Speaker would earn Sh2.8 million up from Sh1.5 million according to the proposal tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister and Vice President would be the biggest beneficiaries and could earn hefty salaries amounting to Sh3.2 million and Sh2.7 million respectively following recommendations by the Parliamentary Service Commission.

The Commission\’s report proposed that the Speaker be entitled to a sitting allowance of Sh30,000 up from Sh10,000 while MPs will take home Sh10,000 up from Sh5,000 per session. 

“What must follow before those recommendations are implemented is the passage of the requisite legislations by Parliament and then if found appropriate assented to by the President,” said the Speaker.

The new perks had originally been proposed by a tribunal that was headed by former Court of Appeal Judge Akilano Akiwumi. The PSC however reviewed the Akiwumi proposal upwards.

Despite the public pressure to abandon the new perks Mr Marende defended the proposals saying they emanated from the recommendations of an independent tribunal.

“In commissioning the review what the House did was invoke the law, to review their remuneration and this as you are aware came from the concern that MPs were not paying taxes,” he said.

The Speaker said the legislators were within the law to review their perks in a bid to cushion them as they comply with public demand that they pay tax on their hefty allowances.

The Speaker spokeon Wednesday after meeting a team of US Congressmen who are on a three-day visit in Kenya under a bilateral Parliamentary strengthening program.


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