, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – The National Super Alliance (NASA) has disowned remarks made by some of its members opposing the Salaries and Remuneration Commission recommendations to scrap committee, mortgage and car grant allowances for MPs elected to the 12th Parliament.
The NASA National Campaign Committee Chairman and ANC Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi said the position taken by some members does not represent coalition’s stand.
“In a democracy such as we are building in Kenya, every Kenyan and no less an elected Member of Parliament is free to express their views on any matter. MPs-elect expressing views on the decision by SRC to reduce their expected remuneration have every right to do so, speaking as they are as affected parties.”
Mudavadi added: “NASA wishes to debunk the notion that the MPs-elect are speaking as collective representatives of political parties or as members of the NASA Coalition. They are speaking as affected individuals, and have every right to do so.”
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen had earlier stated the party stands for prudent management of resources.
“We stand for equity and prudent management of public resources. We cannot therefore promote or be seen to promote wastage, avarice and inequities in the Kenyan society.”
“Our members in different leadership positions are highly encouraged to always attempt to mediate their personal interests with public good that constitutes the substructure of ODM ideology of Social Democracy,” Ong’wen said in a statement to newsroom.
The rebuttals come after newly elected Homa Bay County Woman Representative Gladys Wanga who is also a Parliamentary Service Commissioner provoked national debate after she said the newly elected legislators, will oppose cuts by the wage-setting body that will turn them into “beggars”.
“There is a mission to demean the MPs and reduce them to beggars and perhaps like the 90s expect them to troop to the Executive very Friday begging for handouts to be able to go back to their constituencies and this will not happen under our watch at the PSC; members will not be reduced to beggars as we look on,” she told a news conference held at Parliament Buildings on Nairobi.
The SRC, which sets public sector salaries, said last month it would slash salaries of top officials, including the President and lawmakers, to save Sh8.5 billion per year.
Each member of the 418-member bicameral Parliament will take home Sh621,250 per month, down from Sh710,000.
The SRC also scrapped the Sh5,000 sitting allowance for plenary as well as special parliamentary allowances.
The Commission replaced mileage allowance, which has been prone to abuse, with a zoning system for purposes of calculating monthly transport allowances for the Senate, county and National Assembly leaders.
The Speakers’ salaries have also been slashed by Sh165,000 to Sh1,155,000 from Sh1,320,000.
Sitting allowances for committee meetings were fixed at a maximum of Sh80,000 for members and Sh128,000 for chairmen while mileage reimbursement has been removed.
MPs lost their car grant of Sh5 million and will instead be entitled to a Sh7 million car loan in addition to the Sh20 million mortgage.
Kenyan lawmakers are among the highest-paid politicians in the world, earning a cumulative pay of Sh1.33 million a month, courtesy of unlimited committee sessions and mileage allowances, before the latest review.