Naming MPs ministers ‘to save Sh223m’


Naming MPs ministers ‘to save Sh223m’

Parliament in session
Parliament in session: There is a push to name MPs as ministers. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has approved the publication of a constitutional amendment bill on naming the Cabinet from among MPs in a shift that will save taxpayers millions of shillings.

The budget office, which advices lawmakers on money matters, says the public wage bill will reduce by Sh223.7 million on the change.

It also lists other savings including perks like travel and medical as well as the cost of aides attached to Cabinet Secretaries.

Having Cabinet Secretaries appointed from among MPs would mean that the current system of government changes from purely presidential to the hybrid Kenya had before the 2010 Constitution.

“The financial implication of the bill arises from the fact that where CSs are appointed from among the MPs, there will be a reduced number of State officers. There will be cost savings in terms of security personnel and travel costs among others,” the PBO says.

The draft bill by West Mugirango MP Vincent Mogaka will require a referendum because it intends to alter Article 255 of the Constitution — on the functions of parliament — whose amendment requires a vote. The referendum is expected to cost Sh15 billion. Further, the MP wants Article 152 (3), which bars a Cabinet Secretary from being an MP, deleted.

An MP appointed to the Cabinet will earn an additional Sh400,000 per month as responsibility allowance, drastically reducing the cost of running the bloated government.

A CS is paid Sh924,000 in monthly gross remuneration according to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

It was the wisdom of the drafters of the Constitution that if MPs are appointed CSs, there will be interference on the oversight functions and independence of Parliament, which is a referendum issue.

However, the PBO warns that separation of powers will be hurt and MPs named CSs will be overworked.

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