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Embu bishop tells MPs to stop quest for higher pay, serve wananchi



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Embu Catholic Bishop Paul Kariuki has opposed plans by MPs to increase their salaries and urged them to respect guidelines by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

Speaking on Saturday, Bishop Kariuki noted that Kenya MPs are among the best paid in the region and they should not agitate for more.

He urged them to concentrate on initiatives meant to uplift the lives of Kenyans.

The Parliamentary Service Bill, 2018, if passed into law, seeks to give the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) the powers to deal with the welfare of MPs, a move opposed by SRC.

The Embu bishop appealed to elected leaders to consider the plight of the common mwananchi first instead of seeking huge perks while the economy is struggling.

He spoke at St Peter and Paul Cathedral church during the ordination of eight priests and one deacon where he said the issue of MPs’ salaries has elicited an outcry from members of public, many of whom are still living below poverty line.

“They should be contented with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission guidelines. They cannot take it upon themselves the responsibility to increase their salaries and even to talk about their pension.

“They should understand that they are there as servants and not as masters. Rather than considering increasing their salaries, they should greatly consider uplifting the standards of the people in this country,” said the prelate.

Bishop Kariuki advised MPs to instead allocate more resources for development to enhance job creation.

“We appeal to them to be concerned with the plight of the poor out there. They are well off; we have seen them with big vehicles and thus they should be contented with the much they have been given,” he said.

On the Gender Bill, the bishop welcomed the move saying the Constitution dictated that both genders are well-represented in leadership.

He said the requirement should have been passed in the last Parliament and that there is an urgency to fulfil the requirement.

“We appeal to our MPs to seriously consider the women in this country. We are not asking that we overburden our people. Maybe we should also come up with clear ways of ensuring that our women are elected to Parliament. For the time being, we must follow the Constitution. Women play a key role in this nation and they should be well-represented,” he said.