By Sandra Birungi
Kenyan MPs, knowing they are about to end their term in office, awarded themselves a $107,000 (£65,000) retirement bonus alongside other benefits that would ensure their life remained good, even after serving in parliament.
A pill was passed in Kenyan parliament yesterday guaranteeing MPs of life-long security with bodyguards, diplomatic passports and a funeral paid for by the government, even though they are not in office. The bill was tabled by Finance minister Njeru Githae.
In the bill, each MP will get Sh9.3 million when their term expires on Tuesday next week and it will make sure that the MPs and their wives have unlimited access to the executive lounge for Very Important Persons at all the airports within the country. It is yet to be assented to by the President.
During the night session, MPs also amended the law to allow them be paid gratuity at 31 per cent of their Sh200,000 basic monthly salary for every year in service. They enhanced it to 31 per cent of their gross pay of Sh851,000 per month for every year worked.
Earlier on in October, President Kibaki rejected to assent to the Finance Bill that among other things gave MPs a generous gratuity, saying the increments were unaffordable and unconstitutional. At the moment, the MPs are entitled Sh3.72 million send-off package, but this too is contested in court, and a ruling is being awaited.
Heads of the security forces — the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service, the Inspector-General of the National Police Service — plus the Secretary to the Cabinet and the Director of Public Prosecutions were added to the list of Designated State Officers.