That MPs steal from taxpayers close to Sh150 million per month or Sh1.8 billion a year has not come as a surprise as reports of financial mismanagement and looting of public coffers had been in the past exposed in various audit reports but with no action taken.
Ironically, MPs are held in high esteem by citizens who elect them to represent their interests, but interestingly, when the custodians of public interest abuse that trust and steal national resources, they lose the honourable status bestowed on them and become worse than criminals. Altogether, this is in total contravention of Chapter Six of the national constitution on leadership and integrity.
Last week, a group of 17 MPs took a bold step and exposed their colleagues who have been minting millions of shillings every month in falsified mileage claims. The 17 lawmakers mainly from Nairobi, Murang’a, Machakos, Kiambu and Kajiado counties have told the Parliamentary Service Commission and Salaries and Remuneration Commission that their colleagues from far-flung constituencies file fraudulent claims to access millions.
According to a confidential report sent to the PSC and the SRC, the MPs who make false claims spend their weekend in the city partying, only to show up on Monday at parliament’s accounts department seeking reimbursement for non-existent journeys made to their constituencies.
The report further reveals that some legislators make mandatory mileage claims weekly even when they do not use their official cars as stipulated thus abusing the facilitative fund meant to reimburse them for expenses incurred when they drive to their constituency work stations.
Broke MPs who have committed all their salaries in mortgages and other engagements have resorted to making false mileage claims to survive. The MPs named as having conned Kenyans are Paul Otwoma (Funyula) Sh797,368, Dan Kazungu (Malindi) Sh994,840, Elijah Busienei (Turbo) Sh516,120, Andrew Anyanga (Butere) Sh715,088, Makali Mulu (Kitui Central) Sh306,680, John Olago Aluoch (Kisumu West) Sh572,968, Richard Tongi (Nyaribari Chache) Sh613,360, Moitalel ole Kenta (Narok North) Sh396,440, Esther Murugi (Nyeri Town) (Sh234,872)), Raheem Daud (North Imenti) Sh448,800, Sharrif Athman (Lamu West) Sh1.3m, Abdulswamad Shariff (Mvita) Sh758,472, John Nakara (Turkana Central), Simiyu Eseli (Tongaren) Sh1.2m and Millie Odhiambo of Mbita Sh92,880.
Others are Bernard Bett (Bomet East), Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza), Joseph Samal (Isiolo North), Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West) and David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East).
According to the report, Mandera constituency gets the highest mileage per month of Sh1.7m. The three Mandera MPs Mohammed Noor (Mandera North), Mohammed Adan (Mandera South) and Abdiaziz Ali Farah of Mandera East have been pocketing Sh1.7m per month each as mileage.
The cameras are now on the members of the PSC to take appropriate action against the above MPs with a view to recovering the false claims.
The PSC is chaired by house speaker Justin Muturi with nominated MP Beth Mugo as the deputy chair. Other PSC members are Adan Keynan, Jimmy Angwenyi, David Musila, Sammy Leshore, Gladys Wanga, Regina Chengorok and JM. Nyegenye – clerk of the senate (secretary).
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