Devolution CS proposes referendum to reduce no. of legislators

By Beth Nyaga

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has proposed a referendum to reduce the number of legislators.

Kiunjuri is of the view that the country is over represented in both the National Assembly and the Senate, putting a heavy burden on Kenyans through a ballooning wage bill.

To him the country should only have 220 elected members of the National Assembly with only 20 nominated.

The 47 elected senators he observes should also be retained with only six more being nominated. If this is done, the cabinet secretary says, the country will be able to  manage the huge wage bill and direct the limited revenues to development activities.

Kiunjuri made the remarks when he toured Hewani Village, Tana Delta Sub County.

He was inspecting projects being implemented by the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA).

This proposal comes shortly after Presidnet Uhuru Kenyatta received from the SRC an interim report outlining the Review of Remuneration and Benefits for State Officers for the period 2017-2022.

This report recommends, amongst other measures, a rationalization of the salaries and allowances paid to senior state officers, public servants, elected officials from MCA all the way to the President.

That will result in a reduction in salaries and allowances for those elected in August this year.

Currently the President earns Ksh.2Million, Deputy President Ksh.1.4Million, Chief Justice Ksh.1.38Million, Cabinet Secretaries and Chief of Defence Forces Ksh.1.12Million, Speakers of the Senate and the National Assembly Ksh. 1.37 Million, Governors Ksh.1.1Million, Senators Ksh.740, 927, Members of Parliament Ksh 740, 920, MCA’s Ksh.300, 000.

The President was decrying the huge wage bill in the country which he says stands at 627 Billion shillings accounting to 50 percent of revenues the government.