Kenyan MPs their audacity!

Back in the days when Hon. Amos Kimunya was the minister of finance he read the budget in parliament, and expressed his optimism for economic growth. The total donor funding is to constitute 10.7% which is 80.96 billion of
the total budget. 33.06 billion of the total donor funding is in form of cash. A percentage of the budget has also been allocated to pay debts.

According to the budget report 2008/2009 released by the institute of economic affairs, “the proposed debt rollover for the year has increased by 8.7 billion to 67.95 billion. Overall, given that debt payment growth exceeds G.D.P growth levels, there may be a need to raise taxes in future.”

On average each MP gets Kshs. 600,000 allowance per month. If this is taxed using the highest tax rate of 30 per cent then you get Kshs. 180,000 per month multiplied by 222 you get Kshs.39, 996,000. Annually the country will get Kshs. 479, 520, 000. Add the allowances of the Ministers and Assistant Ministers, Judges, Commissioners and other holders off constitutional offices and you have an additional of money in the excess of Kshs. 400 Million which is able to cater for over 392,000 children in primary schools at Kshs. 1020 per pupil annually or buy over 307,000 bags of maize at Kshs. 1350 per bag. The sums of money the country will get in addition to a feeling of equality of treatment among Kenyans are amazing. This is what we expect from our leaders who campaigned on a platform of servant hood.

They argue that they cater for the financial woes of their electorate. Then what is the purpose of the CDF. They should be more involved in CDF and ensure that the money is used for it purpose and accounted for. Part of the taxation can even go to the CDF if they are really keen on developing their constituencies. Kenyans are tired of words and promises, we need action. Giving financial lump some handouts to specific people does not help Kenyans in development.

Kenya is one of the most highly taxed countries in the world. Our MPs are the third most highly paid politicians in the world. We are still a third world country, where more than half of our population lives below the poverty line and we still depend on donor aid for development. It is worrying and sad that our MPs are concerned and not agreeable to their allowance being taxed, while the ordinary Mwananchi is being taxed to the last cent.
We are bleeding ourselves dry in order to finance the hefty paychecks of our MPs. It is selfish for them to object to this policy, if they really want to help Kenyans. Their total amount of allowance is ridiculously high not to be taxed. It is such incentives that make every Tom, Dick and Jane want to be an MP, thus making the quality of leaders in Kenya very low and throwing leadership ethics out of the window. It is the money (among other things) that motivates our people to want to be MPs, not the spirit to serve our Nation.

Some of the explanations given by MPs are worrying and simply unacceptable, their audacity to try and justify themselves is disappointing. No one should be spared from taxation despite the amount of money they donate in Harambees and funerals. In fact it these Harambees that make citizens obligated to vote for their MPs, instead of judging them their leadership and the level of development. If indeed they are serious about supporting development let their financial support be standardized and guaranteed by imposing tax on their allowances.

Our MPs must of necessity remember that peace will remain an illusion as long as majority continues to suffer as the political elite swim in plenty. The commercialization of leadership has rendered our leaders blind to the plight of the majority who are drowning in an ocean of misery; the kind of misery that our leaders have the power and resources to come to the rescue. The words of J.F Kennedy ring true that you can not protect the few who are rich if you do not help the many who are poor.”

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