, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – CIVIL society groups on Friday held demonstrations in Nairobi to block any attempts by Members of Parliament to counter President Mwai Kibaki’s refusal to approve their bonus amounting to Sh2.1 billion which they had awarded themselves.
The activists said they are worried that the MPs can still use their powers to re-introduce the Finance Bill to ensure it sails through.
“They want to go back to Parliament to override the president. They want to go rob the country through parliament. It will cost us more to go to court to say they are violating the constitution. Everyone must therefore, prevent evil from prevailing in this country,” Rev Timohty Njoya protested.
He said the country should not allow the MPs to continue passing harmful laws that are hurting Kenyan tax payers.
Under the umbrella of the National Civil Society Congress, the activists said that MPs had many times hiked salaries despite calls by the public for them to soberly consider that the high salaries were overburdening the already strained economy.
“The MPs have severally and shamelessly hiked their remuneration to obscene levels not witnessed anywhere in the world in addition to mischievously shielding themselves from paying taxes on their hefty pay,” Law Society of Kenya Chairman Eric Mutua observed.
“Last night, the whole nation watched in consternation as the MPs defended the attempted theft in parliament, some calling it their right! It is important to remind them that the severance of their service is a scheduled democratic practice defined in the constitution and is determined and appreciated by voters by renewing their term or not,” another activist warned.
The activists who matched through to Parliament buildings vowed to do everything within their rights to ensure MPs do not continue to use the legislative powers to swindle the country’s economy.
The activists wondered why the MPs were abusing the same constitution they approved.
“Awarding themselves any benefit in total disregard of the constitutional provisions as rightly pointed by the president is rejecting the bill of law attempting to legitimize this theft, and without processing the said benefit through the laid down procedures and institutions is blatant robbery,” another activist yelled.
President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday declined to assent to the amended Finance Bill that was passed by Parliament last Thursday night.
The pay award would have cost the taxpayer a total of Sh2.1 billion, with each MP taking home Sh 9.3 million.
On Thursday, there was uproar in Parliament as MPs defended their salaries and the proposed bonus.
It is not the first time Kenyan MPs have clashed with members of the public and civil society activists for hiking salaries.