Raila Odinga. IMAGE/ COURTESY

Former Prime Ministre Raila Odinga has told off MPs for plotting to  to raise their salaries terming it as grand larceny and impunity.

In a statement to newsrooms, Raila said that the pay rise amounted to unfairness as the issue comes at a time other employees in the public sector, such as teachers and nurses, are going through pay restraint and accepting less pay for more work.

“He (Odinga) therefore finds the Parliamentary Service Commission Bill a case of Grand Larceny and an anti-people and insensitive demand that should be disowned and rejected as inappropriate and unacceptable to a great majority of Kenyans if not all, at this time,” reads the statement sent by Raila’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango.

“Mr. Odinga is appealing to members of parliament to appreciate that the country is struggling with huge debts that cut through the broad spectrum of our economy and deficits strangling specific critical sectors.”

The former premier also urged the legislators to be considerate of the huge debt burden threatening to bring the country on its knees.

“The SRC has warned that the pay demand by MPs, if effected, would touch off a clamour for similar raises across public sector where many spirited officers are currently doing with little to deliver much to our citizens,” adds the statement.

“Mr. Odinga appeals to the legislators to stand with the people of Kenya and also to stop the erosion of public trust in MPs through this grand larceny and grand impunity that they are trying to force on tax payers.”

Read: Kisumu County Assembly Speaker, Executives Accused Of Stealing Millions From County Coffers

The MPs are pushing for higher pay and new allowances as contained in a new proposal by the Services and Facilities Committee.

In the new proposal, the MPs want to increase their mileage allowances and car grants, and introduce a house allowance.

They also want to be given their full per diems so that they can seek their own accommodation when they travel within or outside the country.

In 2017, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) reduced the basic pay for MPs from Ksh710,000 to Ksh621,000 a month and removed the annual progression rate for the legislators. The commission also reduced the basic salaries of Speakers of the Senate and National Assembly from Ksh1.3 million to Ksh1.2 million, and slashed the pay for Deputy Speakers from Ksh1.05 million to Ksh924,000.

Currently, the MPs are entitled to a Ksh20 million mortgage that is subject to an interest rate of three per cent per annum, and which must be fully paid by the end of their five-year term.

The terms will cover 416 MPs in both houses, the Senate and the National Assembly.

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