Parliament is secretly pushing the Treasury to pay over 300 former MPs a send-off package of at least Sh7 million each in defiance of the law.
The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) has asked the Treasury to allocate Sh2.1 billion in the supplementary budget for approval when MPs resume from recess on February 12.
Should PSC get its way, the money will be paid to former MPs who lost their seats in last year’s General Election after serving only one term.
The latest push for yet another hefty payout comes despite the Pension Department having paid the former lawmakers about Sh5.9 million each as an exit package last year. The one-off payment was yet another reflection of the growing burden of keeping top public servants comfortable in retirement.
Parliament is now arguing that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) was wrong in stopping the Sh2.1 billion send-off pay that PSC is now demanding. It argues that MPs must get an exit pay equivalent to 31 per cent of the total pay they earned during their term in office like other State officers such as governors.
MPs have in recent years gained notoriety for arm-twisting the Treasury and the salaries commission to line their pockets with fat pay cheques and perks, making them among the best paid in the region.
The PSC, the MPs’ employer, had earlier this month sent a letter to the Pensions Department asking Treasury to calculate the additional exit package for inclusion in the supplementary budget.
However, the law does not support the proposed pay. “It has been determined that the commission should request the National Treasury for the full amount of gratuity that would accrue to all one-term members of the 11th Parliament in the forthcoming 2nd supplementary budget,” says the letter signed by PSC secretary Jeremiah Nyegenye.