A Kenyan lawmaker, Millie Odhiambo, has justified why lawmakers in the East African country continue to ask for more funds in order to execute their functions.
According to the Suba North legislator, Kenyan Member of Parliaments (MPs) were like Automated Teller Machines, ATM, because of the financial burden that constituents place on them.
She referred to an article in which anti-corruption activist and author Boniface Mwangi wrote about why MPs ask for more and more (money), she made further reference to Oliver Twist then added:
“We will always ask for more and more and more, why; because we are ATMs.
“When I go to my constituency … even when I am sitting here, unfortunately one of my constituents have just lost the wife in a road accident, I will chip in.
“There is somebody somewhere holding a funeral, I will chip in; there are some who are sick, I will chip in; am I Jesus Christ? Surely today the spirit has gotten in the house but I cannot save the world, yet the people want us to perform miracles. And sometimes they do not understand why you are also poor.”
She asked that parliament takes a realistic view at how MPs are taxed and we must have people who must stand with us and for us and to know the truth of what we go through, otherwise we forget our legislative roles
“We spend all the time running around knocking doors, looking for money, when we should be here doing legislative work.” Her views were hotly debated on social media with a section blaming MPs for the trend. Others said if they worked to improve the lot of the masses, they will not be seen as ATMs.
Kenya’s former Chief Justice had some hard words in reaction to the video. Dr. Willy Mutunga said: “Rationalization for raiding people’s resources. This is the kind of regressive politics I hope the youth in Kenya shall change. Politics of patronage does not eradicate poverty!”