Lawmakers need a shave, and not at the barbershop

A sitting of the National Assembly.

A sitting of the National Assembly. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has told MPs that their sitting allowances will be put on the chopping board together with onions and carrots. MPs have responded that the SRC doesn’t want them to eat well, but nutritionists have since clarified that sitting allowances aren’t in the list of what constitutes a balanced diet and there shouldn’t be any cause for alarm as cutting down on junk spending is good for everyone’s health.

Kenyans are glad that we finally found a state agency that grew teeth and is willing to sink them into greedy flesh. For a long time, Kenyans have been asking dentists to examine the teeth of independent commissions and determine if they need more calcium, because most of them have been barking in a manner likely to suggest their teeth might fall off if they attempt to bite a sponge.

This tug-of-war between MPs and Kenyans has been going on ever since Jesus went back to be with his Father, and everyone’s been wondering who’d pick up the whip and clean the House from servants of God’s children motivated by avarice.

The SRC has chosen the right time to strike; when the iron is still bendable. We’re in the stomach of political campaigns, and MPs are back to washing utensils at people’s homes to prove that nothing puzzles God.

It would be difficult for any parliamentary aspirant to go out in public and point at the SRC with a stick right now even if they wanted to.

Every House aspirant is saying how they’ll bring back the good times, where we danced in the rain knowing the nearest dispensary would call to ask if we slept well after shivering from fun. They’re nodding their heads in agreement to everything the voter is asking, even promising to pick up from where Moses left off and investigate who ate the tender to supply manna from heaven. We must nail them on the cross now and wean the country off extravagant spending, or they’ll resurrect after being sworn into office and leave us with an empty tomb at the Treasury.

When you think of it, it’s difficult to understand how MPs have been receiving sitting allowances for doing the job they’re already being paid handsomely to do.

The National Assembly has 349 MPs while the Senate has 67 members all earning a uniform sitting allowance of Sh5,000 every time they log into the House. While the National Assembly holds four sittings a week, the Senate has three. That’s before you consider that each MP earns a basic salary of Sh710,000 and are entitled to a car grant of Sh7 million, mileage allowance, and a Sh20 million mortgage facility at an interest rate lower than those drills digging for oil in Turkana.

You don’t need to have passed in Mathematics to count the amount of money we are spending on helping the MPs sit well in the House. It’s a painfully mindboggling figure for a group of people who visit controversy more times than opening their mouths in Parliament.

With every passing election, MPs have increasingly brought Parliament closer to competing with money laundering in the category of the most preferred business for those who want to get rich quick. Even those who can’t read to save their lives have been emboldened to run for Parliament to go help their colleagues take the quality of debate to the dogs.

Kenyans rarely agree on critical national issues, but on this sitting allowance thingy we’re squatting with SRC and standing by the rule of law. The law is very clear that it’s criminal for any Kenyan leader to be seen slapping expensive liquor while starving Kenyans are begging for food on the streets.

MPs should join the queue and take a cut, because the one they’ve been taking at the barbershop doesn’t count.


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