By Jerry Okungu
October 15, 2012
Dear Honorable Shebesh, Keynan and Kilonzo,
I am never in the habit of writing letters to members of the august house.
As our law makers, I appreciate the onerous task that this nation has bestowed on your shoulders and that you may not have a moment to read this letter from your parliamentary pigeon holes, hence my decision to address you through the public media.
In watching your Thursday’s ranting against the President and Commissioners of the CIC, I noticed one common denominator about you. You were all youthful MPs who some Kenyans have embraced as the possible leaders of the post constitution era. However, having listened to you during the debate, I realized sadly that Kenya is a doomed society if you are the leaders she has been waiting for.
I know you will consider this letter unfair to the three of you considering that the controversial Finance Bill that has brought all these maneno was passed by 30 MPs, not just the three of you. You simply found yourself in this crowd of MPs that Kenyans are now calling hungry hounds of public cash.
Had it not been for the subsequent debate that ensued in Parliament last Thursday soon after President Kibaki rejected your demands, I would have let this pass. Your spirited and shameless defense of what outraged the nation is what caught my attention.
For the first time I saw another side of you Rachel Shebesh that you had hidden from the public for the better part of 4 years since ODM nominated you to Parliament. This time round, after ditching your first political love, the ODM for your new found sweetheart, TNA, you went ballistic. You threw all caution to the wind and told the world that your rights as an MP overrode all other rights of 40 million Kenyans. You told Kenyans that when it comes to what you can get from public coffers, you will defend your rights and the rights of fellow MPs to eternity.
As you went on and on about your rights, did you for a moment pause to ask about other less endowed Kenyans toiling day and night to put a meal on the table? Did you stop to think of those miserable teachers who taught you at one time in your life and still toiled for 19,000/- per month when you worked for three days in a week and collected a cool 1 million bucks without paying taxes?
Madam Shebesh, you know as well as I know that you wanted to be elected MP for Kasarani, however, the people of Kasarani denied you the nomination way before the general elections. What special qualities did you have to be nominated MP over millions of other more deserving Kenyan women? Based on education and experience, do you feel you truly deserve even to take home 100,000 bucks at the end of the month? On qualifications alone, your basic pay should not go beyond 50,000 bucks if the employer feels generous.
Yes, Mheshimiwa Shebesh you have rights just like millions of other Kenyans. However, these rights do not include the right to abuse public office, steal from the public and violate the constitution. As a young Kenya, you have let the youth down big time. Now the youth know better, that age mates can be as merciless as the old guards when it comes to raiding public institutions.
Hon Adan Keynan, you know you have been my hero for the better part of the 10th Parliament. When I saw you handling the Japan Embassy fiasco, I thought you were an upright man. I believed in you. The debate last Thursday changed all that. I saw the real Adan Keynan, the man who would stop at nothing to get what he wants. Now I can revisit Moses Wetangula’s complaints when you were probing his ministry. He alluded to the fact that your committee wanted something small in order to go slow on the probe. However, as expected, you vehemently denied the allegations. Now I know better.
Hon Adan, you say that the bill you moved in Parliament last week late into the night was not your bill. You maintain it was a government bill and all you did was to table it on request from the Minister for Finance! However, why did the Finance Minister choose you among other several cabinet ministers? Was it because you are the Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Service Committee with an overwhelming interest in that insertion on MPs send off package? Was your choice as innocent as you would like the public to believe?
Did you truly believe that the President of Kenya would approve that outrageous bill that clearly went against the constitution? What was so difficult in you studying the bill and if you found it against the interests of Kenya declined to table i?
Hon Charles Kilonzo, you ominously threatened the Finance Minister not to table a tax bill because the MPs would defeat it. Fair enough. However, if the government shut down, how many MPs would go without pay for just two weeks?
Are you aware that Parliament is just a third of the government and Kenyans would not allow 222 people to hold them to ransom? Are you aware that Kenyans can match to Parliament and camp there for weeks until you all go home? Have you forgotten what happened to the Egyptian Parliament at Tahir Square? People power overthrew the entire military regime that had entrenched itself since World War II!
Looking at you collectively, I saw that you tried so hard to justify your blatant fleacing of the treasury on the excuse that Commissioner Nyachae and others earn more money than MPs. Fair enough. However, do you realize that the eight commissioners headed by Nyachae are a highly specialized lot who went to school for many years in attaining what they did before they became commissioners? Are you aware that the eight commissioners work 24/7 drafting the bills that the 222 MPs are unable to pass on time?
The fact that MPs vet commissioners is no justification to demand more pay. If you don’t like you pay, just resign and go seeking a commissioner’s job.
If all workers started demanding higher salaries because their colleagues earned more, there would industrial chaos on the land.