what to do with politicians!

In a number of posts, I have written to decry the apparent greed of our politicians and specifically those in the 11th parliament whose main business since they were sworn in has been to demand a higher pay, threaten to disband the statutory body charged with determining salaries for state officers and threats to blackmail the executive by paralyzing the finance bill unless their demands are met. Oh and they have ordered the press out of the media centre and will only cover parliament on invite basis!

To digress, one can easily be disillusioned by politicians and see it is a hopeless case. In fact, one would suggest that the office of the politician be done away with completely and replaced by some ad hoc committees that would sit for a specified period then disband. It has been argued that the legislature checks the excesses of the executive. Someone tell me how this is possible when the majority in the legislature are members of the governing party, they have a majority in the parliamentary committees and all the members from whatever party are united in rapin’ the taxpayer! The press can’t check the government since the leaders have the biggest shares in the major media houses. The civil society tries its work but I think it is not systematic and consistent.

In the past we have had commissions [Cocker commission and Akiwumi] to review the salaries paid to our members of parliament and all the commissions have always recommended that the MPs be paid handsomely to cushion them from corruption, to allow them to live in dignity[read live in gated communities away from their poor constituents], to own a good car[the bigger the better] and so on. The Akiwumi report recommended that in order for MPs to pay tax on their allowances, something they ought to have been doing, their salaries had to be increased to cushion them from loss in income. The members of the commission argue here that the ILO statutes do not allow reducing the pay of an employ or something of that kind which I agree with but that was not relevant here. These men and women had not been remitting money to the revenue authority illegally and as such this couldn’t be construed as reducing their salaries per se but correcting a wrong which had been allowed to go on for long.  It was therefore a sigh of relief when the SRC in their wisdom recommended that the salary paid to the members of the house be reduced to reflect the state of our economy and to match their job group [what job group is MP?]. It is this that they have been contesting since they were sworn in.

Kenya is ranked among the poorest countries in the world where a great majority of the population live below the WB and IMF poverty line of a dollar a day, there is endemic unemployment and those who are employed are more often than not underpaid or underemployed. It is therefore disturbing that those who claim to be their representatives in demanding higher salaries for themselves do not take into account the financial reality of the country. We pay our MPs more or close to the same amount of money MPs in our donor countries are paid, talking about a beggar insulting his benefactor!

Even though I find politicians to be lost causes, there is one president, President Jose Mujica of Uruguay, who stands high above the rest of them. This is a man who when he became president,

chose not to accept the chauffeur-driven police escort to the elaborate presidential palaces of La Residencia de Suarez. Instead, on that victorious evening, Mujica drove home to his wife Lucia at their modest farmhouse on the outskirts of Montevideo in one of his few owned assets, a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle. It was a simple and modest act that was to be the cornerstone of Mujica’s political direction from then on.

Whereas am not asking our MPs or anyone else for that matter to donate their earnings to charity, I want to point out that greed is not the only way to serve the rest. I hope that it can be said of MPs, as Col R. Ingersoll said of Abe Lincoln, here is a man when he had great power he used to for the good of his fellow-man. Am hoping that they will be reasonable and realistic, but over and above this I hope they will come to the realization that we do well without them and as such they could disband the national assembly or reduce its size considerably and look for work elsewhere.

 Related articles

ICPSK submission[pdf]

Kenyan MPs double their salaries again in a new bid to evade taxation

what does your mp actually get

MPs want Uhuru suspended for opposing MPs salary hike

Kenya MPs Pay – Adoption of Akiwumi Tribunal Report on MPs Pay – Motion and Debate – Hansard Wednesday 30th June, 2010

simple living: president of Uruguay leads by example

Of politics, politicians and their thieving ways

In 2010, we enacted, after more than 2 decades of activism for change, a new constitution. A document that many hailed as being a great document for charting our journey towards a brighter future, a future that our independence fathers, except of course the first president, had in mind. A unified future, a nation where inequality in distribution of resources will be addressed, the bill of rights be expanded and several constitutional safeguards put in place against the excesses of government.

There was a lot of excitement that so many things were either overlooked or not given serious thought. I will list a few:

  1. we expanded the national assembly and created a new house, a senate, following both the American and British models of two houses but the roles of these idiots was not properly considered. We have been treated to a show of strength between the two houses each trying to show the other which is the most powerful. My recommendation: We don’t need the expanded national assembly, we keep the regional governments and the senate. The senators will bring to the floor of the house issues that have been raised at the county level for debate. In this way we have fewer idiots trying to run the country.
  2. constitutional offices. For the life of me, please tell what the work life of an IEBC[the body charged with botching elections] commissioner when there are no elections. Remember these people draw insane salaries in the pretext that they should be above bribery which doesn’t make sense when you think of the issue carefully. There is a commission charged with harmonisation of salaries for state officers. Please tell me what these people do everyday apart from thinking about salaries and then being paid at the end of the month for doing nothing. Recommendation: disband all unnecessary constitutional bodies.
  3. cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries. This is the thing, before ministers were idiots, nay, I meant to say politicians and there was a permanent secretary to run the ministry. Now we have technocrats. What is the point of another layer of bureaucracy?  Recommendation: reduce the size of the fucking government!

Most of you by now know of my disdain for politicians. I think we need as a country to rethink the recall clause, the size of parliament, seriously you don’t want to have close to 400 running amok in a country whose population is mainly sheeples!

Please don’t think am biased to the idiots, nay, politicians

Governors want County budget increased from Sh210 billion to Sh258 billion and they also want offices in Nairobi. Now we are trying to devolve government because for a long time power has been concentrated in the centre and in Nairobi. Why would these dimwits want to live in Nairobi while there areas of jurisdiction is in the counties they represent?

Salary: Members of Parliament turn guns on President Uhuru. I have written on the MPigs haggling for a higher salary and asking for the disbandment of the commission that slashed their salaries. Having failed on these attempts, they have decided to blackmail everyone, from the supposed president, to the revenue authority! A real bunch of thieves and idiots they are.

On a side note, there is another constitutional body that is telling us not to use insults when referring to MPs and others when they fuck us up! To them, go and hang. If you find my language offensive, don’t read it again. It is your problem, not mine.

 

Kenyans and their parliamentarians

There are different kinds of societies. There is man eat man, dog eat man and man eat dog society. The third society is the worst kind, and it so describes our political landscape. In several posts, when I talk about our members of parliament, I have described them as MPigs. That is how we see them. Don’t ask me how we elect them. I think world over, only idiots are elected to parliament. How they manage to win is beyond me, but that is a topic of another day, unless it could be that society is full of idiots and are happy with one of their own in power!

Our Mpigs are united on one thing and one thing alone, how they can get higher salaries. It is the only thing that drives them and unites them. It is this matter alone that can keep them in parliament working extra hours or earning seating allowance for being present at parliamentary commission sittings where they make little or  no meaningful contributions.

On other news for those not in the know, the supposed president and his veep are frequent visitors at the Hague based court for crimes against humanity. You know you are living among the very stupid if they elect suspects of such crime to be their head of state. Only a mad man would expect me, in my right mind to acknowledge such people as duly elected! I will not and I can’t! Call it denial if you want but am not about to!

Pigs used in the demonstration against the MPigs who sit in the august house

Letter to President Kibaki

Dear Sir,

I hope this letter finds you well.

Mr. President, your ten year term is coming to a close and there are those who think that you have been a good president. They see the economy has grown from less than 1% to 7%. They say you have built roads, that in your administration dependency on donor funding has reduced that we now finance 60% of the budget. This is all good I suppose but I have a problem and please hear me out.

When we voted for you in 2002, you made a promise that corruption will be a thing of the past. You promised to unite us, you promised to defend the constitution, you promised to reward merit. How did you perform? I want to tell you your performance has been worse than poor. When your Secretary for Ethics, John Githongo, resigned from his job citing lack of support I knew then you only hoodwinked us to believe you really want to deal with corruption. I realize when you took the reigns of power, your predecessor had plundered everything and given out large tracts of land[ The Ndungu report alleges there were pieces of land given on his authority] so your cronies had to find new ways to steal. And here they learnt very first. In a short time, we had ghost projects and ghost suppliers and contracts running to billions of shillings, education funds disappearing, maize funds disappearing, kazi kwa vijana funds disappearing, what did you do? You paid lip service, in fact you hardly ever uttered a word and when you did you reinstated the very people suspected of abuse of office to their plum jobs so they could continue with bleeding us dry.

On the rule of law, after we voted overwhelmingly for the new constitution, your first act was to act against it by making appointments contrary to the document you swore to defend. The only thing that stopped you in your tracks was public outcry and the courts or else you would have your way. To this extent you have failed sir. In your cabinet there are people who have been accused of crimes against humanity, you allow them to traverse the country stirring hate and you sit comfortably on your pedestal calling us mavi ya kuku and tumbafu-we your employers- where is the law on integrity and ethics? Please tell me that you didn’t know there are such clauses then I may excuse you, but until then sir, I consider you a failure.

Sir, we elected you to lead and in so doing you should have gone above what we expected of you. In this respect had you reduced the size of your government after the enactment of the new law, I would have said you are successful president, but you sir have failed -failed terribly-

It is during your presidency sir that we have had the worst election violence in our recorded history. You seem not to notice there are good citizens, men, women and children- whose only fault was speaking the wrong language- that are still called IDPs. This is one thing that to me appears not to have even crossed your mind while you sleep in State House paid for by our taxes.

Those who sing your praises say you have done infrastructure, that they can see roads and Kisumu Airport. Well I see these things too but I don’t think you had a choice on this matter and besides what did you want to do? The reason we provide you with free housing and security is so that you find time to ensure that we have roads. Now let us look at these roads critically. The main road that has been done is Thika Road, in your estimation is this the best you could have done? If I was in your shoes and wanted to claim infrastructure as a success, I would have opened up North Eastern Province, that is where to build a road. Again I submit you have failed as a president.

On legislative duties, being the person who signs bills into law, how have you performed. I will tell you sir, you have failed. You have signed into law bills that are against the spirit of the constitution. You in cohorts with the MPs have made a joke of the constitution. You sign laws that allow them to jump ship anytime they want whereas the constitution attempted to bring party discipline – I know am being ambitious expecting any better- you have never shown any interest in developing parties. Mr. President, you have failed. You have an opportunity to redeem yourself. Parliament has been dissolved and the MPs can’t run riot anymore, decline to assent to the bill awarding you and the MPigs[allow me to call them that] obscene amounts of money while many of us have no food to eat and sleep in the cold we no longer can tell a warm and cold night from each other!

Mr. President, you receive security briefings every single day. What are these gentlemen doing if whole villages can be torched in broad daylight. We pay tax so the police, army and intelligence officers can be paid and so you can sleep in peace. We can’t have people being killed in hundreds and not a word from the Commander in Chief. You declare a day of mourning when your buddy dies, everything stops, you run to church to ask god to keep them safe and when your employers are killed senselessly, you say nothing! Please why did we employ you? To insult us, or to have control among other things on the instruments of violence to ensure the security of us all.

I know you are busy planning for a golf session so I will end my letter here and ask you to please do just one thing to redeem your image. Your presidency is a failed presidency! You have performed less than we expected, you haven’t inspired me any bit in any way unless you mean by insults.

Thank you and be well.

Onyango M.

Your employer

on Genetically Modified Organisms

Last year the august house moved a motion barring the importation of GMOs into the country citing among other reasons health effects. They did claim there is a direct link between eating GMOs and cancer or something close to that. I don’t know who their science adviser or research assistant is but I trust the Parliamentary Commission on Agriculture sleeps on the job or listens to the wrong crowd.

Am not an expert in GMOs, so am not going to say anything more beyond what have said but I will let you read more from here and watch the video

and hopefully we can revisit this discussion as a nation.