‘Kibaki a true patriot’ says Kenyans

President Mwai Kibaki’s move to decline the proposed Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Bill which would have awarded exiting members of parliament heavy perks has received positive response from a section of Kenyans, who described him as a true patriot.

The bill has in the past few days caused anxiety among Kenyans who termed the proposal by the members of parliament as conniving and greedy.

Former Kisumu central Member of Parliament Ken Nyagudi supported president Kibaki’s decision not to assent to law saying that Kenyan citizens were already suffering enough.

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) said the move demonstrates his patriotism and commitment to constitutionalism and the rule of law.

They described the action by parliamentarians as a conflict of interest which is contrary to the principles and practice of good governance.

“We at ICPAK were dismayed by the blatant move by the Parliamentarian to award themselves a hefty retirement package at the chagrin of the taxpayers. By all intent and purpose, their move was unconstitutional and went against the provisions of Article 75 (1) of the constitution. ” Says Patrick Mtange Chairman, ICPAK.

The Institute says the current state of affairs of the nation cannot afford such a financial burden from the Honourable Members of Parliament.

“Current and future Parliamentarians must rise to the occasion by championing constitutionalism and by upholding the very Constitution that they swore to protect.”

“By awarding this pay hike and other privileges to themselves and their spouses, Members of Parliament abused their privileges and disregarded all rules of decency and conflict of interest by purporting to increases to their personal remuneration and allowances.”

On Saturday President Kibaki  also has directed the Attorney General to redraft the Bill to ensure compliance with the Constitution and the law and submit it and the accompanying explanatory memorandum to the Speaker with immediate effect.

Members of Parliament Wednesday night used the cover of darkness to connive and award themselves a whopping Sh 9.3 million send off package each.

They also lavished President Kibaki with a retirement package handing him Sh12.6 million lump sum pay. On top of this the President would get Sh 560, 000 monthly pension, an entertainment allowance of Sh105,000  and Sh161,000 house allowance. The President earns a monthly basic salary of Sh700,000.

Also to benefit are Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his deputies Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Speaker Kenneth Marende and his Deputy Farah Maalim.

In the gravy train are heads of security forces, the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and his Deputy, Secretary to the Cabinet and the Attorney General.

Worryingly, the MPs reinstated the Sh9.3 million gratuity payment rejected by President Kibaki less than a month ago.

The gratuity had been contained in amendments to the Finance Bill 2012, but the MPs sneaked it in through another Bill, The Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Bill 2012.

Calculated to cover all the 224 MPs the taxpayer would cough at least Sh2 billion to pamper the legislators.

Coming with the package was one armed security guard, diplomatic passport for both MP and spouse, access to VIP lounges at all airports within Kenya and a maintenance expense for all.

Finance Minister Robinson Githae sneaked the amendments on Wednesday night to hand the MPs the package. Curiously, the amendments were not printed on the Order Paper and were only hinted at by Githae on the floor of the House and endorsed without any reference to their contents.

The package was arrived at by calculating 31 per cent of the MPs’ basic pay of Sh200, 000 per month from the time they were sworn in on January 15, 2008 up to August 26, 2010.

Thereafter, they would benefit from 31 per cent of their gross pay of Sh 851,000 as severance pay from August 27, 2010 until January 14, 2013 when their term expires.

Also to benefit from the pay would have been the  retired Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate and their deputies, the Prime Minister, the Vice President, the Deputy Prime Ministers, Chief Justice and their Deputies,  Chief of Defence Force, Director of National Intelligence Service, Secretary to the Cabinet, Inspector General of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions.


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