Almost but Not Quite There (Robin Hood)

Kenya’s government officials: president, Vice and MP’s are some of the world’s highest paid civil servants. We have with time nursed and nourished an odd and exceedingly expensive culture and in the past few decades it has only soured to new heights of excess and greed perpetrated by a handful of skilled and educated not to mention smartly dressed law makers or- as many a Kenyan would rather address them- law benders or breakers.

They do not do this to land themselves inside the wall cold tiny and dreary cement grey jail cell but to benefit and reward themselves for their long days of hard law making. And these rewards could not be bigger. From hiking up their salaries to awarding themselves allowances for anything from fuel, vacations and entertainment, it doesn’t end their however as they also give themselves some money to pay their house helps, gardeners and/or cooks. Kenyans are then stuck with this ever inflating bill through taxes.
This week however Kenyans saw a ray of light in the dark tunnel as the Salaries & Remunerations Commission (SRC) whose job it is to inquire into and determine the salaries and remuneration to be paid out of public funds to State officers and other public officers. In that vein the commission decided to; in accordance with the constitution to permanently cut and set the salaries for the new government. In so doing they elicited joy from the hard working long suffering citizenry.  But there were some including myself who felt they had not quote ascended to full Robin Hood status. Meanwhile acknowledging that a good start had been made to lower the outrageous pay check that each MP too home the always present allowances still remained untouched and in so staying some of the initial sparkle and illation was removed from the announcement.

Members of Parliament earn:

·         5,000 sitting allowance- just for being present and warming your seat

·         A further 5,000 for sitting on a committee that is 15,000 per day for attending 2 committee meetings

·         And each month they stand to earn 300,000 just for warming their seats- and more probably than not how to bend the laws to get yet more money.

There are very few Kenyans-wealthy or not- that would turn down a job that paid as much as this.

If MP’s lived in the ordinary mans shoes- which they don’t- but the SRC may bring them closer to a more earthly reality they would not have an entertainment, fuel and house help allowance they would be forced to take it all out of their fixed salary and for the first time in a long time maybe just consider the foreign concept of a budget.

But with the SRC’s new tougher stance on Parliamentarians inflated pay grade there is still a glimmer of hope for ordinary Kenyans who feel more than a little pinch come end month even more elation and will surely come when the Commission take their axes to the MP’s allowances.

For now the country is stuck with the dream of not having to pay for a salary and pay package most of them could never in their wildest dreams attain and the big decision of having their voices heard at the ballot box on the 4th of next month all the while being bombarded by politicians as they launched their Manifesto's and crisscross the country in helicopters and by road on a last minute dash mission to secure the 50 + 1% votes needed to and avoid a runoff and land them into the much coveted State House.


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