The call by the president elect Uhuru Kenyatta to allow Salaries and Remuneration Commission to slash Kenyan MPs is welcome. With both hands. However, the newly elected legislators are ganging up to petition against the move by the commission.
Luckily, the president desire to slash government budget led the president to fully back the SRC while vowing to cripple any move by the MPs, who are yet to be sworn in, to protest against the move.
The most familiar name on twitter is in Kenya is Gladys Wanga. The newly elected MP from Homabay has been vocal about the pay that the incoming legislators will have to bear.
Gathoni wa Muchomba has rescinded on her decision against the Sarah Serem led commission and apologised to her constituents and vowed to abide by what the commission will set as their pay. This follows reports that her move had angered Kiambu residents whom she is supposed to represent in Parliament.
Famed investigative journalist Mohammed Ali ran on an independent ticket with limited resource and still clinched Nyali parliamentary seat. However, Boniface Mwangi was floored and conceded defeat after the cash backed Musician Charles Njagua won Starehe seat.
The political space in Kenya has been a reserve for deep-pocketed lawyers and filthy rich business people. The trend seems to change with more Kenyans joining in to challenge political party backed candidates.
The government is aware of the threat posed by the civil society. After the elections in 2017, the government cracked the whip on two popular civil rights organizations in Kenya; The Africa Centre for Open governance and the Kenya National Human Rights Commission. The two organizations were momentarily deregistered crippling its activities in the country.
Some say the actions of the governments were buoyed by the reality that the civil rights groups have the capacity to challenge the IEBC’s decision. There had been questions being raised on the conduct security organs in Kenya in aftermath of the elections.
It is worth noting that Kenya’s went back to work a week that followed the election in spite of the calls from the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, for Kenyans to boycott work.
It is clear that no political statements will make Kenyans stall the economy by not working. Kenyans returned to work arm twisting Odinga to resort to the courts to file a petition against the IEBC decision to announce President Kenyatta as the winner of the 2017 elections.
As the country struggles to come back to normal after an expensive election, it is worth noting that despite being a young democracy, Kenya held successful elections. There is a need for Kenyans to be more realistic of what is expected of the elected leaders.
Kenya is likely to see an increasing number of candidates who present themselves for political office whether or not they have money to fund their campaigns.