, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – Members of Parliament on Tuesday confronted the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) over its stand on their salaries, accusing the Charles Nyachae team of spending too much time engaging in matters that are not part of their mandate.
MPs sitting in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee accused the commission of abdicating its mandate of monitoring and churning out Constitution implementation Bills.
The legislators also questioned CIC’s budget proposal of Sh20.3 million for printing, advertising and information supplies and services as being too high. The MPs also took issue with their foreign travel budget.
They also questioned salary disparities at the CIC where the chairman and commissioners earn between Sh847,000 and Sh700,000 whereas the lowest ranking staff member earns Sh25,000 per month.
CIC which was represented by vice chairperson Elizabeth Muli and Commissioner Kamotho Waiganjo told the MPs that the salaries issue, including a pay cut consideration on their part can only be dealt with by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
Waiganjo had accused the MPs of waging personal attacks against commissioners and disrespecting other independent constitutional institutions.
However, MPs insisted that CIC is populist in its approach and threatened to deny it funds.
An agitated Waiganjo shrugged off the threat and told the MPs that there is need to foster mutual relations with commissions adding that it was the constitutional duty of the MPs to reduce the budget if they felt the CIC were getting too much money.
Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkong’a (Ainabkoi MP) was forced to step in to assure the CIC team that that they will be given adequate funds to carry out their functions.
Muli explained that of the commission’s budget of Sh1.2 billion, Sh556 million was expected to be drawn from the Exchequer while the rest comes from donor agencies in Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands and UNDP.
Waiganjo challenged MPs to allocate more money to CIC if they don’t want them to rely on donor funding. He stated that they are not a stooge of the donors, as some MPs had alleged.