Murkomen, Kihika to lose hefty perks and privileges

Senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika

Senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika address journalists at Parliament Buildings on May 11,2020 when they dismissed the Senate leadership changes as illegal. PHOTO | COURTESY

The ousted Jubilee Senate leaders will now contend with slashed allowances and renunciation of other privileges following the Jubilee coalition Senate Parliamentary Group Meeting that replaced them Monday.

The PG meeting chaired by President Kenyatta ousted Mr Kipchumba Murkomen (Majority Leader) and Susan Kihika (Majority Chief Whip) and replaced them with West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio and Murang’a’s Irungu Kang’ata, respectively.

Mr Murkomen and Ms Kihika are now faced with the reality of losing the hefty perks that come by virtue of those offices.

The leaders who now serve as Elgeyo Marakwet and Nakuru Senators, respectively, had been entitled to higher pay packages compared to their colleagues, enhanced security and vehicles paid for by the government.

They will also lose offices and extra staff who were fully paid by the Public Service Commission.

National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi explained that in terms of salary, majority and minority leaders earn slightly over Sh200,000 and responsibility allowance of about Sh138,000 monthly which Mr Murkomen will now not be entitled to.

“It is about Sh400,000 above other members. Those office holders also have staff hired for the, including a researcher, policy analyst and legal officer. These are senior staff picked by the office holder. There is also a secretary, personal assistant and an office assistant,” Mr Mbadi said.

The office holders of those positions are also entitled to extra security officers — a maximum of five security officers and an office, “So the moment you lose your seat, those staffs are rendered jobless and the vehicles surrendered,” said Mr Mbadi, who is also the ODM party chairman.

He said their removal will also affect their pensions, which he noted is usually based on “your last basic salary.”

For the Majority and Minority Chief Whips, he pointed out that they also have assigned staff “but not of the level of Majority and Minority leaders.”

Former Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo said the offices are usually adored for the extra perks.

“Yes, the officers put you slightly above your colleagues and come with a lot of privileges that Murkomen and Kihika will now lose,” Mr Midiwo said.

Jubilee Vice-Chairman David Murathe defended the removal of Mr Murkomen and Ms Kihika over what he termed as “opposing party positions and policies in the Senate.”

“That is clearly spelt out in Articles 13 and 14 about the disciplinary issues and penalties,” Mr Murathe said.

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