Nairobi — Attorney General Githu Muigai on Friday dismissed a list of names, doing the rounds on social media, accusing him and several other Members of Parliament of voting for a motion awarding themselves Sh2.1 billion gratuity in January next year.
The AG said the list, which accuses the legislators of stealing from public coffers, should be withdrawn as it is malicious and scandalous.
State Law Office Public Communications Division head Mulei Muia said the list was erroneous because it contains the Attorney General's name yet he was not in the country at the time the bill was passed in parliament.
"It has listed the Attorney General as number 31. This is not only malicious and scandalous, but also bordering on libel, since he was not in Kenya then, but was actually in Germany attending an international meeting," Muia said in a statement.
He wants the list, which appears on Facebook and numerous other social blogs, should be pulled down and an apology issued by those responsible.
It names 86 legislators in alphabetical order including Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed, Dujis MP Aden Duale, Cabinet Ministers Njeru Githae, Eugene Wamalwa and Esther Murugi among others.
The MPs voted for the bonuses through acclamation making it difficult to know who exactly supported the motion.
"The authors of this erroneous document should not only pull it down, but also issue unequivocal apology for maligning the Attorney-General. Let them get their facts right before engaging in malicious acts," he demanded.
The ploy by MPs to award themselves the hefty package amounting to Sh2.1 billion has generated sharp criticism from members of the public and civil society activists who accuse them of being selfish.
President Mwai Kibaki also declined to assent to the Finance Bill effecting the bonus, saying it is way above what the country's economy can sustain.
MPs have however, vowed to push for its realisation arguing that other constitutional office holders took home much more perks than they do--citing the chairman of the Constitution Implementation Commission Charles Nyachae who earns Sh 1.2 million.
"We are not going to be ashamed of fighting for our rights, because our rights are enshrined, just like the rights of commissioners and other public officers. Is it in order for us to always be labeled and hide because we want votes," nominated MP Rachel Shebesh posed Thursday in his contribution in parliament.
Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale was jeered when he tried to urge the MPs to wait for the establishment of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to harmonise their salaries.
Ironically, Khalwale is among the MPs whose name appears in the list.
On Friday, civil society activists, including Law Society of Kenya members held a demonstration in the streets of Nairobi to protest a move by MPs to push for the bonus despite having been rejected by the President and majority of Kenyans.