The Members of 11th Parliament:…..Different Forest Same Monkeys….

…….Different forest same monkeys……This is the by line of HEARTSTRINGS KENYA’S satirical comedy play which is depicting our Members of Parliament.HEARTSTRINGS KENYA ,a play’s theatre group ,are staging a play entitled ……different forest same monkeys…….in relation to what our new members of parliament are demanding.The play’s storyline depicts our members of parliament which according to the play ,although the context scene has changed “forest”depicting Parliament,it seems as if these forests are inhabited by the “same monkeys” with the same characteristics,depicting our members of parliament.

Even before the dust settles down on election ,even before legislators transacted any House business they are demanding pay hikes.They do want their salaries to be reinstated as it was before,after it was reduced by the Salary and Remuration Commission.The Salary and Remuration Commission irked the members of parliament when it reviewed their salaries and allowances and the commission thought it wise to slash their pay perks.

The Commission did these so as to reduce the government’s wage bill and to conform the various salary scales of state officers and government employees which are full of disparities .These salary disparaties had occassioned for agitation for higher salaries among the civil servants the order of the days.

The people we trusted and elected to Parliament to champion for our course are letting us down.We thought we redeemed but the more things change the more they stay the same;we are back to square one as far as greed goes.

And,this is not the first time the members of parliament are demanding a pay hike .The members of the 10th Parliament were notorious for increasing their salaries at will,oftenly illiciting a public outcry.They even went to a step where they sabotaged government bills so that their demands can be met.The Kenyans members of parliament are one of the highly paid in the world.

But,their petite for higher pay perks has always been met with stiff resistance often igniting a public outcry from the Kenyan citizenry who most of them do live uder a dollar in a day.The Government always finds itself in an awkward situation when financing a bloated and skyrocketing wage bill.

And,that’s why when the drafters of the current constitution were drafting it ,they put into consideration and into writing the recommendation of instituting a Salary and Remuneration Commission ,with a mandate of reviewing and harmonising the various salary scales of state officers and government employees.The constitution had demanded for the formation of such a commission .And,that’s why the 10th Parliament established the Salary and Remuneration Commission.

Despite the fact that we have in place a legally constituted commission mandated to set salaries for all public officers ,including those under the Parliamentary service commission.The members of Parliament are threatening to paralyze government business unless their selfish demands are met.

But,who bewitches Kenyans once elected members of Parliament ?The citizenry viewed members of parliament salaries as too high ,unsustainable and disproportionate vis-a-vis to those of other workers and these injustices had to be corrected.The Salary and Remuneration commission reduced their pay perks accordingly.While it is higher ,they are driven by selfishness and greed to try to go against the constitution to demand more money.

The factors considered by the SRC were valid and justified.Our economy can’t sustain such a huge wage bill resulting from high untaxed salaries of members of parliament.

But,what motivates them to demand more money ,if not sheer greed ?We need to prioritize our budget on developmental agenda.This country still urgently requires better equipped and staffed hospitals ,good roads ,more teachers ratio and modern equipment for police to fight crime.But,our members of parliament only think about their salaries.

Now ,if there’s a time that Kenyans from different political,ethnic,regional,colour,social status,and religion are to unite ,that time is now.We need to unite against our common enemies ,the members of the 11th Parliament.

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