Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kenya: Disgraceful conduct.

New Vision ( Uganda ) reports

Kenya MPs triple bonuses again

                                                         The Kenyan Parliament in session. PHOTO/Reuters

NAIROBI - Kenyan legislators have tripled their end-of-term bonuses once again, sweetening the deal with extra perks like diplomatic passports and security for life as well as state funerals when they die.
Lawmakers first attempted to triple the bonus they will each receive when their five-year term ends this month to 9.3 million shillings ($107,300) in October, a move the president rejected.

But in a final act before parliament closes ahead of elections on March 4, legislators passed two bills awarding themselves the bonuses, at a late-night sitting on Wednesday.

Noses firmly in the trough seems to be a characteristic of politicians the world over.

They also demanded diplomatic passports for themselves and their spouses, long-life security paid for by taxpayers, as well as the right to be accorded state funerals, hitherto a preserve of presidents and notable achievers, when they die.

The Kenyan parliament has 224 members at the moment. The latest average age figures I can find are from 1997 but it would seem reasonable to conclude that the age is increasing. I hope the people of Kenya enjoy a good funeral because it would seem they are about to get quite a few more.

The bill requires President Mwai Kibaki's assent to become law. The second bill contains provisions for the president's own retirement package including a 12.6 million shillings one-off payment.

I am guessing that the MP's have decided to incentivise the president this time around. 

At an extra cost of around 2 billion shillings, the higher bonuses for members of parliament outraged many taxpayers who already consider many of their MPs lazy, corrupt and greedy.

Well I would have to say that this will have done little to reverse that opinion of politicians.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga, a leading candidate in the presidential election scheduled for March, joined in the condemnation of the lawmakers' move.

"The passage of these bills amounts to treachery by parliament. It is an attempt by MPs to blackmail, arm-twist and even bribe the executive in order to have their way," he said.

In a statement, Odinga added that the proposals contained in the bills bordered on "criminality" and he was talking to Kibaki to ensure they do the right thing for the people.

Boniface Mwangi, an activist who has in the past used visual arts to campaign against the lawmakers, said their latest action was unacceptable and insensitive, coming at a time of widespread insecurity in the country.

"It is actually blatant stealing. Tana River is burning and no one is talking about it," Mwangi told Reuters, referring to the killing of 19 people in ethnic clashes at the country's Tana River Delta in the coast this week.

He accused the lawmakers of putting citizens' security at further risk by demanding bodyguards after their retirement.

"We live in an unsafe country and now there will be one less cop on the streets because a retired MP has to have a lifetime bodyguard," said the activist. ($1 = 86.7000 Kenyan shillings)

Just noticed this at the Huffington Post 

By vetoing a bill that would have increased retirement bonuses for Kenyan lawmakers, President Mwai Kibaki may have redeemed himself and paved way for Kenyans to forgive him for his role in the 2007 post-election violence.

On Jan. 9, Parliament met for the last time before the new elections scheduled for March 4. Top on the agenda was a bill that would have awarded lawmakers retirement packages so hefty they'd make even legislators in the wealthiest nations of the world envious. The proposed bill would have given each outgoing Member of Parliament a cash payment of approximately $110,000 (American), a taxpayer-funded bodyguard for life, unlimited access to the VIP lounges at all Kenyan airports, and diplomatic passports for each MP and spouse. (It's not clear whether MPs with multiple wives would have received a diplomatic passport for each. Maybe roll a dice to determine which wife gets one?) As part of the package, lawmakers also wanted Kenyans to accord every retired MP a state funeral.
Unsurprisingly, the bill passed.
What is insulting to Kenyans is that the package was in addition to the more than $10,000 each MP has been receiving monthly in salary and allowances -- most of which is tax-free. In contrast, the average Kenyan makes about $1,700 a year, and 40 percent of the country is unemployed. When MPs' pay is compared to the average salary in the country, it makes them the highest paid lawmakers in the world.

I hope the people of Kenya reward the bastards on the 4 March with marching orders.

1 comment:

  1. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you must watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Win your ex back with TEXT messages?