NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – Runyenjes Central Ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) Steve Munene ‘Simba’ now says he was joking when he said spouses of MCAs should get allowances since they endure loneliness as the county representatives work.,
Munene who is popularly known as ‘Simba’ said he was shocked to learn he had made headline news with something he had joked about.
“There are deliberate ways and moves to ensure devolution does not work. That is why when an MCA talks of a little thing, an ant hill becomes a mountain. We were just discussing the Senator’s speech, and then of course you bring issues to make your contribution lively in the chamber and also appeal to the listeners,” he said in defence.
Speaking to Capital FM News in Runyenjes, Simba said he made fun of what MCAs can gain from the referendum during his contribution to Senator Lenny Kivuti’s speech.
“I just said that there are so many goodies that we can expect now that the focus is on MCAs. I even quoted one of the media outlets which was saying we will be provided with bodyguards, car grants and offices that will be paid for by the State.
“So I said we expect many goodies which could even be that our wives can be paid when we are away,” he said.
The man once referred to as a ‘political toddler’ while schooling at Moi University also told Capital FM News that even after making the remarks that have elicited massive reaction across the country, he told Parliament that MCAs should be held accountable even by their spouses.
“MCAs should be accountable, even to our wives. Accountability should begin with your wife… you should be able to explain to them where were you all the time.”
According to the MCA, it would be an abuse to suggest that MCAs spouses get paid to compensate for their ‘loneliness.’
“I would say deep from my heart I never meant our wives to be paid. Most sincerely it is an insult to Kenyans. At this point in time, I take the opportunity to explain to those who misunderstood my statement and where I was coming from.”
Simba who got married five months ago said his wife is a nurse and she would never in the first place expect free money, something also he would never support.
“My wife earns a salary and I encourage her to work and that is what we should do. She also does not expect free money. Why do I need allowances for her? Let her work and make her own money. In any case, what I am earning, we enjoy together,” he said.
The 27-year old claimed that when he was speaking, the press gallery was empty and indicated that one of his colleagues could have misreported to a secondary source what he had said.
He also claimed that he could have been a target after questioning MCAs for failing to travel to Kisumu for a meeting despite having received their per diems and having their flight tickets paid for.
“The other day on Wednesday we were to go to Kisumu. Despite having their allowances and their per diems and having their air tickets paid, they declined to attend that workshop, I challenged them that if they were given the money by the tax payer they should actually return it. That is where the heat is,” he claimed.
Simba explained that if he wanted to make a proposal, he is a seasoned politician who understands the right procedures to follow to bring such changes.
The MCA however apologised to Kenyans for being perceived in such bad light since that is not what he meant.
“I want to apologise. There is sin of omission and commission. I have every reason to apologise. So if I what I said, people took it wrongly, as a politician who fears the Lord, I have every obligation to apologise to Kenyans and tell them that is not the way and that is not what I meant,” he said.
It was reported that Simba suggested that MCAs spouses should be compensated for the time their husbands are out working.