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KENYAN MPs VOTE TO INCREASE SALARIES.

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Denzel Musumba

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Kenya MPs have unanimously passed the report raising their salaries from Sh851,000 to Sh1.1 million after a short debate Wednesday. At 5.16pm, Mr Luka Kigen (Rongai, ODM) rose to block any other MP –none had sought to catch the Speaker’s eye anyway—from contributing and instead asked temporary deputy Speaker Gitobu Imanyara to allow the mover of the motion, Mr Walter Nyambati (Kitutu Masaba, NLP), to put an end to the debate. Mr Nyambati duly obliged, Mr Imanyara put the matter to a verbal vote and the 40MPs in the House excitedly shouted their unanimous ‘aye’. MPs John Mbadi (Gwassi, ODM) and Simon Mbugua (Kamukunji, PNU) intimated to their colleagues to conclude their contributions quickly. Endorse Bills Treasury now will have to look for money to foot the increased monthly bill for the honourable members. And within seven days, MPs are ready to endorse three Bills to ensure they get their money. The lawmakers have no apologies for the huge perks that they approved Wednesday, because from those who spoke during the debate, "there’s no adequate remuneration for MPs". Mr Nyambati, the Parliamentary Service Commission vice chairman, set the tone for the adoption of the report. The joint whip, Mr Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem, ODM) seconded the motion and blamed liars for spreading rumours and giving the public a “wrong impression of their leaders". He then backed the retirement package for the Prime Minister, the Vice President and the Speaker: “We can’t afford to have (retired) public servants beg, after serving this country.” He thanked the tribunal for exempting some of the allowances from taxation and proposed that the amount could have been more. He asked two MPs –Johnstone Muthama (Kang’undo, ODM-K) and Peter Kenneth (Gatanga, PNU)—to legitimately join Parliament in remitting their taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority. The two MPs began paying tax due to public pressure to have the lawmakers’ perks taxed.

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