OPINION: For lying to us all this time, let’s vote out all sitting MPs come 2022


File image of legislators in the National Assembly. PHOTO| COURTESY
File image of legislators in the National Assembly. PHOTO| COURTESY

By Michael Cherambos

It’s now in the open, our Parliament, the whole group of men and women that sit in the National Assembly and Senate, is a disaster.

They are a cartel of dishonest, conniving and selfish lot that will not pass a chance to betray the country for a pound of flesh.

We, as a country, should have woken up when some of the members of the National Assembly, having missed out on some bribe, came out and said their colleagues had been called out to the toilet and bought at Ksh.10,000 to kill a report on poisonous sugar imported by murderous barons into the country. But we did not.

We should have protested when the Media told us that the group led by one Justin Bedan Muturi had conspired to allocate itself some Ksh.936 million in allowances under the guise of house allowance despite enjoying some lucrative mortgage deal.

In the infuriating scheme, the 416 legislators secretly pocketed Ksh.2.25 million each despite Treasury and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) protesting the move.  The allowances included a Ksh.250,000 monthly allowance for each of the 416 members and were to be backdated several months.
But we did not show any anger.

We should have gone on the streets when Mr. Muturi led some 100 lawmakers to go and listen to the melodious voice of American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. During that leisure trip, they spent millions of our shillings in high end hotels eating five-star food in the United States of America for more than a week. We did not shed a tear.

While doing all that plundering, our “honourables” were offering one excuse or another, albeit unconvincingly, for their gluttony. Maybe that is why our trusting collective selves chose to forgive them. Maybe it was the hope that they will change at some point. Maybe it was the belief they will fill their big tummies and stop the greed. Maybe we understood them. Maybe we just accepted our fate.

But now they have told us. Their mission, for the last seven years, has been wicked, evil.

On Tuesday, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria declared on national television that Parliament has been lying to the country all along. It has consistently manufactured numbers to paint a rosy picture for the masses while stealing the country’s money, its resources and its present and future!

“For seven years, we have cheated about our debt, we have cooked books, we have cheated people that we do zero-based budgeting. We have taken loans at 9 per cent that left people offering us money at one per cent. That to me is treason…” the mercurial MP said adding: “As Parliament, we have failed Kenyans because we have sold to them the romantic story that all is well. We failed in our oversight role because we could have said no, but we said yes, selling lies that all was well… We have lied to Kenyans…We are doing badly as an economy.”

That is a confession of gigantic proportion.

As the MP contended just before uttering what should have been a bombshell had we not have been treated to erratic bursts of character leakages, there comes a time when conscience beats even the hardest-hearted of us, a time when one finds the burden of guilt just too heavy.

But while the MP and his colleagues might be breathing a sigh of relief that comes with finally making peace with one’s soul, the public is, or should be, very angry. While confession and apology for ills committed is a good thing to do, it is never enough. It should never be allowed to be enough. If we let it be, it won’t be long before murderers start killing and confessing, rapists raping and confessing, arsonists burning and confessing and robbers stealing and confessing.

There must be some form of punishment with all its four tenets.

We should seek to have the MPs go through some retribution. They must be made to suffer in proportions similar to the offence they have committed against this country. We could consider banning them, the whole lot of the current MPs, from holding any office, public or private, such that they feel the pain for lying to the country.

We should ensure that the current lawmakers serve as an example to others with similar intentions for deterrence purposes. We could do this by parading them at Uhuru Park butt naked and giving them 100 strokes of the cane, with cameras streaming the footage live across the country.

For rehabilitation purposes, we could consider sending them to five years imprisonment, so they can continue lying to the warders.

But, most importantly, we need restitution. The MPs should be made to return all the money we have paid them for the last seven years. All the money, including the illegal allowances they have been giving themselves.

We now know who got us into this mess that we find ourselves. And because we might not have the power and the means to punish them in the above four ways, let us resolve to use the weapon that we all have. Let’s take note of the 416 plus one culprits at Parliament buildings and ensure they don’t get another chance once their current term is over. Let’s vote out all the sitting MPs come 2022!

Mr. Cherambos comments on topical socio-political issues. Michaelcherambos1@gmail.com

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