Article 230(4) of the Constitution states that the powers and functions of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) shall be to-a) set.
And regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all state officers; andb) advise the national and county governments on the remuneration and benefits of all other public officers.
Note that the Commission is to control salary and remuneration in the public service. Salary is separate from other remunerations.
Officers employed on full time basis
It is only paid to officers employed on full-time basis. These are public officers (civil servants and employees in parastatals and other state agencies).
Public officers are salaried because they renounce their previous occupations to concentrate on their terms of service in public employment.
The SRC functions emphasize remuneration for state officers and advice on the same for public officers.
State Officers are Legislators (MPs and MCAs) and Holders of constitutional offices in the Executive and Judiciary arms of Government.
President, Governors, Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Judges are state officers engaged on full-time service and qualify to be salaried.
They do not engage in any other employment for personal gain. Any payment from outside engagement must be declared and forfeited to the state.
Legislators do not serve on full-time basis. They are not required to renounce their previous occupations (except public officers) while offering themselves for Elections.
In fact MPs sit for only two days in a week (Tuesday evening, Wednesday and Thursday evening), which translates to 8 days per month.
They are remunerated with sitting allowance whenever they avail themselves for these legislative sessions.
- It’s not healthy for the country in the aura of exchanges between holders of the presidency.
- Article 99(3) and Article 193(3) were, mischievously, sneaked into the Constitution by MPs in Naivasha
The MPs are paid appropriate allowances whenever they avail themselves for oversight committee meetings and field visits.
In recognition of their Honorable status, MPs have privileges of perks and benefits such as grants for buying vehicles and concessionary mortgages to facilitate ownership of residences in places of their choice.
It is parochial and in bad taste for the speaker of the National Assembly to justify illegal payment to legislators by comparing MPs and other cadres of staff in the public service. The PSC was an ambush to the voters.
Voters are the actual employers of the MPs for a fixed term of five years, with the power to recall them mid-stream.
The PSC cannot purport to become the employer of MPs, given that they are themselves members of the PSC.
I have already petitioned the SRC to initiate the process of abolishing the PSC, which was created by the MPs through the 1997 IPPG and pushed into the current Constitution as a hideout through which MPs access free money from public coffers.
The behaviour of the MPs on the Ksh 250,000 per month in housing allowance is reason enough to reject the parliamentary system of government.
It is easier and cheaper to handle presidential dictatorship than parliamentary dictatorship. A parliamentary system is for mature democracies, where the electorate is enlightened to vote on competing ideologies.
Differences between parties
With differences between parties being strategies followed to achieve national objectives. Here, we still vote on the basis of regions and ethnicity.
The MPs can be paid accommodation allowance and applicable remunerations whenever they avail themselves in places where they hold sessions for legislation.
Payment of salary and housing allowance is unconstitutional, illegal and outright theft of public coffers.
Housing allowance is calculated to pay for their mortgages, cushioning them from deductions from their normal incomes.
It is double tradegy for MPs to live in luxuries at tax payers’ expense. With money assured in their Bank accounts at month-end in the form of salary, MPs skip sittings (lack of quorum).
These machinations by the MPs to raid public resources through the PSC justifies the case for speedy stoppage of payment of salary to the legislators and abolition of the Parliamentary Service Commission.