Somebody hearing our MPs castigating their senate counterparts for trying to increase their privileges and allowances, at the expense of the hapless taxpayer, will be forgiven to think that MPs are the only saints in the Kenyan political jungle. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black and hoping that by so doing, its own blackness will go unnoticed.

Our MPs are known to stop at nothing when they set out to increase their perks. The last time they did it, not long ago, they threatened anybody who tried to stand on their way, with dire consequences. This included arm twisting the executive, threatening to paralyse gov’t business in the house by refusing to approve budgetary allocations and threatening to send the Sarah Serem led Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) packing. This is the only time Kenyans saw a house that is apparently made of MPs with irreconcilable political ideologies, unanimously agreeing on an agenda: Standing united in greed and conspiring to steal from the tax payer. This consequently earned them the name Mpigs.

Eye brows should be raised when the hyena suddenly morphs into the biggest defender of the goat purporting to safeguard it from a leopard’s attacks. For what reason can the hyena do this other than fattening the goat for a more sumptuous meal on its own table in future?Perhaps the only good thing about the rivalry between the twin houses is that they are able to check each other’s excesses or rather parliament is able to check the senate. The plain fact here is, the senate is not only the underdog but it is also a toothless one since it has lost every fight it had with the National assembly. This is why it is suicidal for a senate that has been struggling to find its relevance in the Kenyan political scene, to antagonize the voters by plotting to steal from them.

Ironically, save for a few noisy newcomers like Kindiki and Murkomen, the Kenyan senate is made of some of the most seasoned politicians in Kenya who thought that the senate would be the upper house, when they ran for the seat, but they were rudely shocked to realize that they had minimal powers compared to MPs, after the elections. At first they took their fight of searching for relevance to the National assembly. On realizing that they were fighting a losing battle, they backed off, then discovered a weak point through which they could assert their authority, in county governments.

Since then, they have spent most of their time either summoning and belittling governors or rallying MCAs to impeach them, in the name of checking corruption at the counties, and threatening to kill devolution in the process.
The senators latest move of trying to usurp the governors’ powers by creating County Development Boards and appointing themselves as the chairmen of these boards, is seen by many as a direct affront to devolution, hatched in collaboration with the national gov’t, to weaken the governors.

As the popularity of the senate continues to take a nose-dive many Kenyans have been toying with the question of whether we really need the senators since they have totally failed in their main role as custodians of devolution. The senate’s majority leader, Kindiki Kithure, together with his vocal Uasin Gisu counterpart; Kipchumba Murkomen ,who are known to speak for the Jubilee gov’t, have been calling for car grants and offices for MCAs, which will cost billions. This is seen as a move to bribe the MCAs so that they don’t support the imminent plebiscite . Since none other than the deputy president himself has expressed support for the same sentiments, this can be taken as an official government plan. The question many people will be asking is where such money will come from when some teachers have retired while waiting for a salary increment that they were promised several years ago. Is anybody seeing a reason why teachers should be going on strike soon?

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