Have been following the furious traffic on Twitter and Facebook regarding the MPs and their quest for either higher pay or revert back to what it was during that last parliament, having been revised downwards by the SRC. I make extensive use of “Management Cliches”
There was some drama during the past Labor day celebrations occasioned by interruption to proceedings from one Boniface Mwangi, resulting in some horrendous handling by some goons, not clear whether it was Atwoli’s hirelings or security, but then again that assumes there’s a difference.
Regarding this incident, without absolving the goons, I think Boniface’s action was unnecessary and called for more constructive approach.
To both Boniface and the goons who think force is a solution, I say
The direct use of force (whether mild or brutally violent) is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by very young children – anonymous
Generally speaking, its foolishness to so soon after an election call for mass protest against the elected officials. Its sheer absurdity. If at all the electorate had bothered to read party manifestos and interrogate the candidates, then it would be evident that implementing the manifestos would either contradict their present actions or else are simply executing the manifesto. If there is any deviation then the correct people to confront are the party leaders for URP and TNA namely Ruto and Kenyatta or the CORD leadership. If they are unable to reach these two or their immediate proxies, then weep and gnash your teeth and wait for the next election cycle. Live with it.
Right now am told there is a grouping taking shape known as OccupyParliament. Yet another copy from OccupyWallStreet. There is simply no more originality in Kenya. We simply ape events and images from everywhere. Our president and deputy except for names and bodies, were an exact replica of Obama and Biden a few weeks back.
I am not against this formation or their quest. What am suggesting is that we are dangerously approaching a “boy who cried wolf” far too many times.
If the public gets too accustomed to demonstrations against MPs salary, demos against funeral fundraisers, etc. when time comes for more weighty matters, no one will respond. My view is that there are other avenues for addressing this particular grievance
Am however drawn to this article in the press knowing fully well that within a problem is where the solution is to be found, and that you cannot find a solution if you do not acknowledge that there is a problem in the first place.
http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000083100&story_title=mps-to-amend-constitution-in-push-for-pay-rise excerpts below which I number for reference
Members of the National Assembly may amend the constitution as the last option to secure the higher pay that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the public have opposed.
Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo said MPs are set to amend sections of the Constitution that describes them as State Officers, so that they can free themselves from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission’s mandate.
Ms Odhiambo said: “Serem should revisit the decision because it seems her commission is not aware of the financial burden MPs have in discharging their duties.”
She claimed the Sh532000 salary stipulated by the commission was even less their expenditure in a single weekend whenever they visit the constituencies.
She said MPs are bearers of almost all problems which face their constituents hence they need better remuneration.
When a constituent’s wife is detained by parents due to lack of dowry, floods are affecting them or any sort of problem, first person to be called is the area MP. The scenario is common all over Kenya since we usually compare notes and our expenditures per weekend range between 250,000 to 300,000, she added.
Odhiambo reiterated that she was not advocating for any salary increment but her aim was to ensure the salary they used to earn in the tenth parliament is maintained to salvage them from inflation currently hitting Kenyans.
The para numbered (1) brings up two issues that a) the MPs are absolutely desperate and feel pushed into a corner. For this reason they are ready to even trash a document that should bear the dreams and aspirations of all Kenyans. For how can someone amend a constitution because of remuneration? What nonsense is that?
Para (3) and (4) the MP raises the issues the MPs deal with on a daily basis (hence the reason some of them never visit their constituencies while others remain barricaded in fortresses)
From this we note that MPs spend about 200,000 per visit every weekend to their constituencies. Presumably in handouts.
Which brings me to para (2), how do MPs discharge their mandate/duties and why is it largely through financial handouts?
And of course in closing (para 5) the MP cheekily states that they want to be shielded from inflation and poverty afflicting ordinary Kenyans. Forgetting completely that in their campaigns, they promised to eradicate the very same poverty, inflation and other economic woes.
Now don’t get me wrong. I actually admire Millie Odhiambo, and totally understand where she is coming from. I believe she is one of the few MPs that genuinely is assisting her constituency.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
H. L. Mencken
The point of this is that its true MPs have a problem. But the solution they intend to deploy is absolute rubbish and wrong. If all they are supposed to be is a conduit or conveyor belt for cash handouts, then its better to open a bank in the constituency and govt issues handouts to the locals. And in this regard we all know that no matter how much you set aside, it will simply be swallowed up and an even greater need develops such that demand will outstrip supply.
Good management is an art that turns problems into interesting challenges and turns focus of developing their solutions into constructive enterprise that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them – (paraphrased)
Whereas Peter Kenneth may not have been Presidential material in this last election, his role model use of CDF is an example of how to motivate, mobilize and manage constituencies to plan and manage their resources as well as pragmatically and consistently handle their daily lives. Reducing dependency on MPs and handouts and instead develop working social systems and structures
And therefore to the people behind OccupyParliament, I say this, that you are not the solution but are increasingly becoming a part of the problem
Good people, wake up from your slumber
I append below some select references