Kenyan MPs — already the world’s second-highest paid lawmakers — will receive a taxpayers’ gift of Sh11 million each and ‘earn’ Sh1.09 million salary for two months with no work.
These princely payments have been authorised as the doctors’ strike enters its second month. After years of medical school, public hospital doctors save lives, live like paupers compared with MPs and demand better pay. University staff are also on strike.
Parliament will dissolve on June 5, but members have been guaranteed their own pay through August 7, the day before the general election.
In other words, taxpayers will pay 416 members of the National Assembly and the Senate a minimum of Sh456.1 million shillings, as they campaign for reelection or for other high-paying positions.
Majority leader Aden Duale assured MPs that since their term, according to the Constitution, runs until the date of the next election, they will simply have to continue earning.
“Members will get their salaries and allowances, that is a guarantee I can give this House,” Duale said on Wednesday as he moved the motion to adopt the calendar.
In the past, Parliament was dissolved 60 days ahead of the polls but the 2010 Constitution says Parliament’s term runs to the day of the next election.
“From June 15, the staff of Parliament can start doing transition for the 12th Parliament,” Duale said.
In addition, each MP will take home Sh11,011,200 as a gratuity for service once their term expires on election day. This too is in the Constitution.
This will cost taxpayers at least Sh4.58 billion, despite the fact that many MPs will be reelected and earn a similar sum when their next terms expire in 2022.
The only thing MPs will not earn in their two months of Sine Die Recess of seven weeks is sitting allowance.
In 2013 Kenyan legislators were ranked the second-highest paid lawmakers in the world, surpassing their counterparts in developed countries such as the US, the UK and Japan. Only Nigerian lawmakers earned more — Kenyans earned 54 per cent less than Nigerians.
They were ranked in a study by the UK-based Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and the IMF. At that time, Kenyan lawmakers’ basic pay was 76 times higher than GDP of Sh84,624.