Members of Parliament met with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for seven hours, and a recording of the meeting has now been released online, with lawmakers demanding that allowances be restored.
Parliamentarians did not hold back their criticism on SRC head Lyn Mengich during a heated exchange on Wednesday, September 21.
“Take your time and visit the work of MPs and you will learn that you can never grade us with anyone. We are exceptional human beings. Some of the work we do, you wonder whether we are human beings or NGOs,” Baringo Woman Rep, Florence Jematia stated.
According to John Mbadi, a nominated MP, SRC’s decision to eliminate plenary sitting allowances, a common practice in many countries, was arbitrary.
“Sitting allowance is a tradition in most jurisdictions. You cannot take away plenary sitting allowances, what has it done to you? We’ve been receiving these funds since the inception of Parliament. Why are you fixing something that is not broken?” he posed.
As a form of revenge, Embakasi East MP Babu Owino urged his colleagues to reduce the commission’s budget if the chair did not return the allowances.
“Madam Lyn, your actions are very belligerent. They’ve caused us anguish. We sit down in a budget committee and decide on what you get as SRC hence I would urge MPs to draw their swords and start biting. Therefore we’re going to cut your budget by half,” Owino claimed.
Budalangi, MP Raphael Wanjala, also argued that it is important to take into account politicians from polygamous societies.
“Previously, we used to put two wives on medical insurance. You’re placing me as a man on a collision course to choose who I love most. I’m not able to know who will be sick next.”
“You have also placed conditions for the children I have sired. In Kenya, no law prohibits us from giving birth to more than four children. I sire many children because it is my Christian duty to fill the world,” he lamented.