NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Members of Parliament on Tuesday adopted a Motion to de-gazette a notice that slashed their salaries from Sh851,000 to Sh532,000.
This means that the legislators will earn the salaries paid to MPs in the Tenth Parliament, defying President Uhuru Kenyatta’s appeal and the general position taken by most Kenyans.
Suba MP John Mbadi used the floor of the House to tell off his party leader Raila Odinga and Kenyatta to keep off the matter.
“I respect my party leader, but when I heard him talking about this I told him to keep off, I would also like to tell the President to keep away from the issue of our pay,” said Mbadi.
The report was prepared by the Committee on Delegated Legislation which was chaired by William Cheptumo of Baringo North.
“There have been a lot of accusations on Members of Parliament; we are not greedy at all. We are quoting a constitution. No one has powers to slash our pay without our authority,” Cheptumo said while presenting the motion was voted and passed overwhelmingly.
“The gazette notice by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission should be de-gazetted because it is unconstitutional,” he said, in appealing to MPs to support the motion.
He insisted that the salaries commission had violated the law because it used the Legal Notice to repeal the law, yet, as per the Constitution, legislation was the exclusive mandate of the two Houses of Parliament.
I respect my party leader, but when I heard him talking about this I told him to keep off, I would also like to tell the President to keep away from the issue of our pay – Mbadi
MPs who contributed to the motion said the Salaries and Remuneration Commission had rejected a pay structure proposed by the Parliamentary Service Commission before setting the new one opposed by MPs.
“If the salaries team slashed our pay by following the law, we could not be complaining. But it was done illegally, that is why we are opposed to it. I support the motion,” Jakoyo Midiwo of Gem said.
“This lady is just incompetent, she is disrespectful to MPs,” Midiwo added, referring to SRC chairperson Sarah Serem.
Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi while supporting the motion said “the salaries commission cannot be left to just sit there and violate the Constitution. We are lawmakers and must be respected. They have no authority to set our salaries.”
Cheptumo said the Sarah Serem-led Commission had also ignored recommendations of the Majid Cockar and Akilano Akiwumi tribunals that reviewed MPs terms of service.
“It is therefore not proper for the MPs office to be set below other State officers, we are immediately below the President and the Deputy President, how can we then earn less than what permanent secretaries earn?” he posed.
SRC had pushed aside a June 2012 draft presented by then Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) chairman Kenneth Marende that demanded that lawmakers be placed under Level 3, above the rank of Cabinet secretaries.
Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso, after the debate put up a question asking MPs to either adopt or reject the report in which it was unanimously adopted by the MP.