9 October 2012

Kenya: MPs Greedy Folks, Says Muthama

GOVERNMENT whip in Parliament Johnson Muthama at the weekend termed as "unfortunate" the move by MPs to award themselves a Sh2 billion send-off package.

Muthama said it is "extremely selfish" of legislators to award themselves the hefty package at a time when Kenyans are grappling with increased taxes to meet the teachers and doctors wage bill.

MPs last week approved a bill that will see them take home a minimum of Sh9.3 million each at the end of their term on January 15 next year.

"Where will this money come from? The government told teachers and doctors that there was no money? Taxes will have to be increased considerably at the expense of poverty-stricken Kenyans," Muthama said.

The Kangundo legislator asked President Kibaki not to assent to the bill as Kenyans are already shouldering a big tax burden.

Muthama said the move is illegal because the constitution has created the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to look into the salaries of civil servants including legislators.

He asked the MPs not to contest for their parliamentary seats if they take the money. Muthama was speaking to the Star on the phone from his Kangundo home.

He accused his colleagues of "insatiable greed and being inconsiderate of the plight of ordinary Kenyans". Muthama has in the past spoken out against the hefty salaries and package MPs receive.

He has argued that the money should be used to improve infrastructure. Muthama does not cash in his Sh851,000 pay check. His salary goes towards educating poor students in his constituency.

The wealthy gemstone dealer and real-estate magnate has maintained that there are other ways of making money besides the looting of Treasury by MPs by arbitrarily increasing their salaries.

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