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Monday, 8 October 2012

Matters Semantics:-Severance Allowance for Kenyan MPs = Higher Taxes for Kenyans

Political History is far too criminal and pathological to be a fit subject of study for the young. Children should acquire their heroes and villains from fiction – W.H.Auden, A Certain World
This quote encapsulates the selfishness that is currently being manifested by the crop of politicians inhabiting the August house in modern day Kenya. This is a sad reality if you consider our ‘Honorable’ Members of Parliament and their hyena like tendancies in mercilessly devouring public resources in form of taxes paid to the government of Kenya through awarding of unwarranted severance allowances., that word again.{severance}.Funny how the Merriam Webster dictionary defines it: -

sev•er•ance  noun \ˈsev-rən(t)s, ˈse-və-\ [singular] formal 1 : the act of ending someone's employment 
▪ a severance of employment — usually used before another noun ▪ severance pay [ =money given to someone who has been fired or laid off from a job] ▪ She received a good severance package[=money and other benefits given when employment is ended] when she was laid off.

I don’t see how our MPs relate to this definition at all. Do you?

If you have been following the recent happenings in the country, certainly you have gotten wind of the wanton mutilation of the Constitution by our MPs who have awarded themselves a Sh 9.3.Million each ‘send-off’ package once their term ends in January 2013.

 If you haven’t heard, well I don’t blame you. Most likely, being an ordinary mwenyenchi you must have had so much  on your plate to deal with than to realize that under waning daylight as you rigorously prepared to call it a day in this concrete jungle, the MPs made such an amendment on the Finance Bill 2011. To add insult to injury, this is backdated to the promulgation date - 27 August 2010.

It is quite appalling that the fishiest of deals by politicians in Kenya are usually carried out at dusk. I say this in irony, sarcasm and contempt for our so called leaders. You can count the number of times self-seeking bills have hurriedly been passed in parliament as other matters on national importance took a back seat. The midnight oil has been burnt in parliament as deliberations extended into the night in the name of seeking consensus.

Even sad is that these egotistical acts were being carried out in the full glare of the public {on Live TV} leaving Kenyans feeling non-partisan and oblivious to the order being established by our elected leaders.

This is impunity of the highest order if you ask me/not.

In view of the recent labour unrests-teachers, doctors et al-this is a eggs to the face of hapless Kenyans by the same government that claimed it had no budgetary allocation to meet the demands on these aggrieved parties.

I have read the Constitution and nowhere does it state or allow MPs to raise their salary, allowances or other benefits. This role is clearly spelt out as a preserve of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission under article 13 of the Constitution.

The argument propagated by most of these legislators is that they need the extra perks to continue servicing a myriad of problems presented to them by their constituents. This does not hold water. Kenyans too have loads of problems but you have never heard of anyone taking the CEO or HR Officer hostage and bludgeon them to change company HR policies to suit their responsibility laden pay slips.

Furthermore, the common mwenyenchi is already over burdened by a slow performing economy riddled by high inflation, not to mention the high standards of living coupled with a moribund salary which employers are not willing to increase any time in the near future. To add to this, the miserable mwenyenchi now has to grapple with increased taxation on a stifled pay slip for the end result of maintaining the lavish lifestyle of an exiting MP and their kin. 
Quite Shameful.

Our fellow countrymen and women still languish in IDP Camps; displaced by the post-elections violence four years down the line. I wonder how our MPs sleep at night knowing that other human beings are surviving in demeaning human conditions yet they have the power to change the status quo? 

It is high time, we as Kenyans put a halt to the impunity where {MPs} recklessly and selfishly arm-twist the basic tenets of the constitution which we selflessly and overwhelmingly voted for by amending it to conform to their gluttonous interests.

ON A FINAL NOTE : With my fingers closed and my teeth tightly clenched, I hold on to the hope that our President {and his advisers} will be sober and level headed to see through all this madness and not put pen to paper in okaying this highly controversial and selfish bill. Let this be another of the legacies {Hon.Mwai Kibaki} will leave etched in the minds of Kenyans once the curtain closes on his impressive 10 year rule. 

The Scribe Rests his Pen

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