Reduce luxurious perks for state officials

Lyn Mengich

Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chairperson Lyn Mengich during a past media briefing.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

As the ongoing political campaign enters the last lap in Kenya, politicians have continued to promise people heaven on earth. Listening to their promises, you may think they have all dropped from heaven to a new world, and they want to take people to the greatness they have never seen before. But are they new kings in Zion?

We know our leaders very well. We know Mr William Ruto of Kenya Kwanza coalition from his times during the Kanu leadership to Kibaki to the Kenyatta II leadership. We have seen him make all kinds of good promises to Kenyans.

The same applies to Azimio la Umoja's Raila Odinga. We have known him for many decades and lately, he has turned into a staunch government defender.

As they continue to argue about who has the best manifesto, there is this angle no one has not dealt with. The angle that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission is trying to enter into, cutting off some luxurious perks for all so-called honourable members of society - Members of Parliament. The same perks apply to some other highly placed state officers.

If you take a keen analysis of the life of a Cabinet Secretary, for instance, the security they have, the allowances, the medical covers, the cars they use, their daily expenses run into hundreds of thousands of shillings.

If you calculate the figure that applies to all other state officers, their comfortable life is costing the government billions of shillings each year.

I have never understood why some people want to own it all in a country where millions are too poor to even afford a meal a day.

That is why it matters to me that I am yet to read a manifesto or see a politician promise to cut off all the luxurious perks that state officers receive, including cutting their pension for the benefit of other poor Kenyans.

It is immoral to gain so much comfort in a country of poor millions. Our politicians always play with our minds, they don't have an agenda for the people but for themselves and that is why they have always agreed on their perks only in Parliament regardless of their political divide.

Let us vote in peace.

Lekishon Laban, Norway

For decades now politicians have been promising Kenyans a better tomorrow through their manifestos. They give out good promises but after being elected they hardly implement what they promised. This happens due to corruption.

Our leaders know what is ailing this country, yet they hardly ever do anything to resolve our problems. We should push for laws that allow us to kick out politicians who do not implement their manifestos.

Let us vote peacefully.

Richard Mongei, Nairobi 

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