President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to help Members of the County Assembly achieve their demands for a Ksh 2 million car grant each during a meeting with MCAs from Mt Kenya on Friday, January 30.
His assurance was welcomed by the legislators who in turn promised to support the Building Bridges Initiative whose future now lies in the hands of county assemblies.
However, if the proposal receives a green light from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), a section of the current MCAs are likely to miss out on the goodies.President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) celebrates with MCAs at Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri on Friday, January 29, 2021PSCU
According to the County Government Act, 2012 only those who will be reelected in the 2022 General Election are eligible for the benefits.
“A county assembly legislation that confers a direct benefit whether financial or in-kind on members of the county assembly shall come into force after the next general election of members of the county assembly,” reads Article 25 (3) of the County Government Act, 2012.
According to the SRC, MCAs are entitled to car loans of up to Ksh2 million to be paid back on a three percent interest rate within their term in office.
MPs, on the other hand, are able to access a Ksh5 million car grant, in addition to a Ksh7 million car loan which MCAs have argued they also deserve as they too carry out a legislative function.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa stated that it would be illegal for President Kenyatta to allocate money to the MCAs.
“It is a function of the SRC to award such benefits, not the president. If that was the case we would also go to him to ask for house allowances. What if every Kenyan asked for a Toyota Probox?” he stated.
He added that the promise was either bribery or a PR stunt to get the MCAs to support the BBI.
Former Justice Minister Martha Karua has also faulted President Kenyatta on the move.
“The president's acceptance to grant MCAs demand for car grants is nothing short of a quid pro quo. It is bribery in return for the assemblies' pledge to close their eyes on contentious issues and pass an unnecessary document. The infamous BBI must no longer be made a preserve for a few in state-driven meetings. The people must be provided with copies of the document,” the Narc Kenya party leader stated.President Uhuru Kenyatta at a meeting with Mt Kenya region MCAs at Sagana State Lodge on January 29, 2020.
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