Ufungamano Joint Forum of Religious Organizations (U-JFRO) has Monday lobbied Kenyans to resist the MPs push for extra salaries and allowances which taxpayers cannot sustain.
According to U-JFRO, the new Constitution would be meaningless to the people of Kenya unless immediate changes were made in the way the national government, county governments and the legislature managed the country’s resources.
During the meeting held at Ufungamano House, U-JFRO Chairman Rashmin Chitnis said that MPs and Senators were engaging in another move to rob the taxpayers of billions of shillings in form of allowances, free housing, medical cover, constituency fund, pensions, free cars and demand for five- star standard catering.
“MPs have already received Sh20 million mortgages each at the rate of 3 per cent while other Kenyans struggle with mortgage of 14-18 per cent,” he said.
Rev. Mukundi Cheche of P.C.E.A Church asserted that the MPs aimed at giving themselves authority to determine their own salaries and allowances which was against the spirit of the Constitution that they were under oath to protect.
“This shows the extreme desperation by MPs to have their own way in the matter of their salaries and allowances to satisfy their greed for money at the expense of the poor ordinary Kenyans,” he said.
Rev. Thomas Irungu who spoke on behalf of U-JFRO faulted the MPs move saying it has brought adverse effects to the economy as the purchasing power of majority of Kenyans has been eroded over the years.
“Are the leaders serving the country selflessly and diligently? Are they elected to improve lives of Kenyans or benefit themselves and to impoverish Kenyans?” Irungu asked.
National Chairman of Muslim Education Council Sheikh Hassan Kinyua proposed that holders of political offices in Parliament, Senate and County Assemblies should be paid modest allowances rather than salaries because they were not in full time employment.
He affirmed that the high salaries and allowances the country paid to the politicians have contributed to unsustainable demands for higher salaries by other public sector employees leading to unprecedented strikes that have paralyzed public service.
“Recently, media reported that MPs and Senators had put aside their differences and vowed to fight for their Sh250, 000 monthly house allowances. This is unconstitutional!” he said.
U-JFRO urges all political leaders to read the signs of the time as Kenyans are getting tired about exploitation by the ruling class which they elected to serve them.
The Forum calls upon the overburdened taxpayers to oppose the exploitation by the very leaders they have elected.
By Melodious Kemunto /Peter Ochol