The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Which MP Deserves a State Funeral?

editorial

PRESIDENT Kibaki rejected the retirement package passed by MPs last year and sent it back to Parliament.

Now MPs have again passed their Sh9.6 million gratuity but added in a few sweeteners including armed bodyguards, diplomatic passports and state funerals.

MP Gitobu Imanyara tweeted yesterday that this was probably illegal because a two-thirds majority is needed to overturn a presidential veto.

Be that as it may, these proposals are selfish and ridiculous. In particular, the promise of a state funeral for all MPs demonstrates how out of touch these politicians are.

A state funeral is reserved for someone who has made a great contribution to the nation. No-one should get a state funeral automatically, it should always be discretionary.

Last year Wangari Maathai had a state funeral. She was a Nobel Prize winner; she deserved it. The last politician to be given a state funeral in the UK was Winston Churchill in 1965. He saved Britain in the Second World War, he deserved it.

Which of our MPs deserves such an honour? Which MP stands head and shoulders above his or her fellow citizens? The promise of a state funeral for all MPs is an insult to every other Kenyan.

Quote of the day: "I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people." - Isaac Newton was elected a member of the Royal Society on January 11, 1672

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