By Calvin Osiemo
President’s Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Coalition Members of Parliament have faulted the President for demanding that Former Prime Minister and CORD leader Raila Odinga quits elective politics in order to get his pension. President Uhuru had earlier refused to assent to the bill citing various short coming which prompted the bill to be sent back to the National Assembly for amendments.
The Jubilee MPs joined their CORD counterparts in opposing the recommendations by the President in Parliament but were not successful as the bill required 232 members to reverse the President’s decision but they only managed to rally 84 members .
Nominated Member of Parliament and TNA Chairman Johnson Sakaja said that the President is being ill advised and should have signed the bill because the government won’t lose anything in paying the retired civil servants their pension.
“The people misadvising the President to make him look petty and vindictive are not doing us a service. The government would lose nothing by paying their dues,” said Mr. Sakaja.
Bomet Central Member of Parliament Ronald Tonui said denying Raila and other official their pension is an act of discrimination.
“In this same House, we have people who worked in the civil service and are enjoying their pension. I believe some people are being targeted,” said Mr Tonui.
Mukurweini Member of Parliament Kabando wa Kabando said that Kenya is painting a bad image to the world by denying the officials their pension and urged the government to ape other countries that have successfully implemented the pension scheme.
The bill comes just after former Kitutu East Member of Parliament Mr. Abuya Abuya, who served for two consecutive terms from 1979 to 1988, has surfaced with claims that he has not been paid his pension after retirement. Speaking to a local daily publication the former MP now says that he is getting his daily bread from his half-acre piece of land in his home in Kitutu Masaba where he is growing tea. Mr. Abuya said that this is his only source of income shared with his five children.
“At that time, Parliament used to guarantee a car loan with the National Bank for its members. When I was vying for the third term in 1988, I had a loan balance of Sh71, 000. When I could not pay the car loan anymore because I was no longer an employee of Parliament, the car was confiscated and I could do nothing about it,” said Mr. Abuya.
Mr. Abuya has also said that he is still servicing a sh300, 000 loan he took for medication and has been forced to sell part of his land to do so.