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MPs must not hold country to ransom

The new Parliament that formally opens next week is already in the eye of a storm over salary demands.

Even before they take the oath of office, the MPs have hatched a scheme to throw out proposals to cut their salaries, and from experience, they are likely to succeed.

These politicians have singularly failed to read the public mood, yet the signs are clear. Some 190 MPs were shown the door in the recent elections.

Those who survived mostly went through because of party support; not on their own ability.

In the circumstances, it would be expected that they would be more circumspect and discerning. But that is not the case.

OVER-FETED

Our MPs are over-feted. They earn huge salaries and allowances in addition to other benefits, including housing and motor vehicles.

Yet, many a time the House is forced to adjourn for lack of quorum.

Motions take too long due to lack of quorum or sheer reluctance to dispose them of. Yet, ordinary workers who toil day and night to drive the economy are poorly paid.

Many qualified university graduates walk the streets or languish in the villages for lack of jobs.

PROMOTE BUSINESS

Yet it is the business of the MPs to enact laws that promote business, create wealth and generate jobs.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has the constitutional mandate to determine salaries based on weight of the job.

In coming up with the revised and reduced rates for all public sector employees, it recognised that one; the salaries were unjustified and two; they created imbalance across the public service.

Better still, pay cut is aimed at managing government revenues that are declining by the year.

The MPs must not hold the country to ransom. All public sector workers must subject themselves to pay cut and those dissatisfied should take a walk.

It is terrible to have a situation where a small clique of Kenyans is over-paid, while the rest languish in poverty.

It’s laudable to not that President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged not to sign into law any Bill that seeks to increase the MPs’ salaries – we couldn’t agree more. The must stop the blackmail and get ready to work.

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