Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura is on the receiving end of a section of Kenyans wrath after he was quoted by a South African Member of Parliament claiming how Kenyan lawmakers live large thanks to the taxpayer’s sweat.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Nqabayomzi Kwankwa stated that from what he heard from Mwaura lawmakers in Kenya are very fortunate.
Unlike MPs in South Africa, the legislator said Kenyan MPs have the luxury of being driven around, and free security accorded by the state.
Kwankwa added that Mwaura claimed to have a Personal Assistant, a researcher, a communication officer and an administrative assistant.
“Spending a day with Hon. Dr Mwaura today in Nairobi, I realized that I am an MP for a wrong country…In SA, we fend for ourselves. We don’t even have PAs, ” he tweeted.
Spending a day with Hon. Dr Mwaura today in Nairobi, I realized that I am an MP for a wrong country. 😜 MPs here have a driver, a body guard, a PA, a researcher, a communications officer & an admin assistant. @BantuHolomisa. In SA, we fend for ourselves. We don’t even have PAs. pic.twitter.com/7dQYwFK8GX
— Nqabayomzi Kwankwa (@N_Kwankwa) February 6, 2020
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) MP arrived in the country on Wednesday for a two-day consultative meeting with parliamentarians from East Africa.
Ngabayomzi’s tweet attracted the attention of fellow opposition MP in the South African Parliament Bantu Holomisa, who argued that the reason why their Nairobi counterparts had so much luxury in office was because “Kenya has been there long before us”.
“However, we may have to benchmark with Kenya. Although we are renowned with the best constitution in the continent or world but the support systems to SA MPs are a challenge, ” added Holomisa.
Tshawe I understand your frustration but Kenya has been there long before us. However, we may have to benchmark with Kenya. Although we are renowned with the best constitution in the continent or world but the support systems to SA MPs are a challenge .
— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) February 6, 2020
The comments didn’t augur well with a section of netizens believed to be from South Africa who accused the MPs of using Kenya as an example to push for their selfish interests.
Kenyans didn’t spare Mwaura for the remarks.
That really isn't aspirational.
Members of parliament in Kenya are heavily overpaid and underworked. They don't need bodyguards and PAs. They're barely doing any actual work in a country that's struggling. They don't have these perks because of our willingness but their greed.
— mwanaume.com (@MarigaThoithi) February 7, 2020
That's y there is no progress in Africa.. Politicians think they are kings.
— KATLEGO📍 (@Matt___007) February 6, 2020
The wastage is why when they are sick, they rush to your hospitals. They are shameless crooks. We are forced to put up with.
— #RIPMoisVictims (@RobertAlai) February 7, 2020
Isaac Mwaura’s “bragging” comments are not new in a country where lawmakers have continued to demand huge allowances at the expense of poor Kenyans.
In August last year, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris was trolled after she attempted to justify MP’s appetite for allowances.
This is following a debate on outrageous allowance demands by the MPs. They include a Ksh250,000 house allowance and a “night” allowance dubbed “Domestic Subsistence Facilitation” that will see the legislators receive between Ksh18,200 and Ksh24,000 per night.
Kenyan MPs are ranked as one of the most pampered lot not only in Africa but in the world. Reports indicate that they take home more than their counterparts in the United States, Japan and Britain.
Currently, MPs take home Ksh710, 000 as basic salary and a number of allowances, meaning each member get a minimum of Ksh1,378, 000. The allowances include mileage, sitting, responsibility perks.