Kisumu Members of County Assembly (MCAs) are the latest to join what has swiftly become the norm where elected leaders are outdoing one another in raiding the public coffers in the name of more perks.
This is after the MCAs tabled a motion before the Assembly Tuesday seeking not only to award themselves house allowance but also review their travel allowance upwards.
House Majority leader Kenneth Onyango tabled the motion and argued that MCAs deserve to be accorded treatment akin to that given to other elected leaders.
The Bill sought for a house allowance modelled along a similar framework to that of the MPs and a review of the travel allowance upwards from the current Sh3, 000 flat rate and a further adjustments depending on the destination of the journey.
The Ward Representatives claimed that issues of travel and accommodation have given them headache in the past and occasionally diverted their attention from discharging the important mandate of providing oversight in the running of the county.
Okoth went further to stoke what could only pass as a hollow argument that MCAs must be “comfortable” to be able to deliver services to the people.
Deputy Speaker, Erick Ogolla, had a difficult time controlling the house as the MCAs literally tumbled over each other as they jostled to approve the motion-fierce raw glee plastered all over their faces.
“It is in the law that state officers are entitled to a house allowance, if anyone thinks otherwise then the law should be scrapped so that all state officers are at par,” floated a gyrating Central Nyakach MCA Philemon Ojuok.
Save for three or so MCAs who objected, the motion unanimously sailed through and is headed directly to the county Public Service Board for implementation.
The Kisumu MCAs allowances coup d’état comes only a few days after MPs staged a similar move and passed a motion awarding themselves a whole new range of hefty allowances including house allowance.
This comes even as ordinary citizens’ grapple with tough economic times and skyrocketing cost of living.
By Milton Onyango