Details have allegedly emerged about why President Uhuru Kenyatta chose to reconsider honouring the invite to officiate the opening of the legislative summit conference in Kisumu on Monday.Â Â
High-placed sources within the County Assembly Forum and the Senate leadership told the Star that Lavish demands by MCAs including top of the range cars funded by the taxpayer might be the reason why Uhuru snubbed the event.
â€śItâ€™s clear to us the President doesnâ€™t want anything to do with additional luxuries to MCAs. He is not interested in that debate, especially now that his government is implementing austerity measures,â€ť a source in the Senate disclosed.Â
It was widely believed that the Presidentâ€™s absence together with his Deputy, William Ruto was a tactical move to avoid ugly confrontation with the MCAs who were expecting nothing but to hear the President make good his earlier promise on the car grants.Â
It is reported that top on the demand list of the MCAs is car grants to buy vehicles and mortgages, which would gobble up at least Ksh10 billion.Â
In 2014, during a retreat for MCAs in Mombasa, Uhuru told the MCAs that they are entitled to car grants just like Parliamentarians.
â€śAs the white man says, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If itâ€™s a car loan, let it be a car loan for everybody. If it is a grant, it must be a grant for everybody. Justice is justice,â€ť Uhuru stated.
Likewise, while addressing the third legislative conference in Mombasa in 2018, DP Ruto reiterated governmentâ€™s commitment to supporting a proposal by MCAs to have car grants, just like MPs, if it is approved by Parliament.Â
However, human rights defender Suba Churchil is of the view that the MCAâ€™s demands wonâ€™t sell, especially at the time the President is pushing for his legacy in the Big Four agenda.
â€śIt was wrong for the President and his deputy to support such demands, more so at a time when everybody in the country is tightening the belt for the hard economic times ahead, â€ť Churchil told the Star.
There are 1,450 elected MCAs and another 774 nominated in the 47 counties.Â
If the national Parliament approves their request, each MCA will be entitled to a Ksh5 million car grant.Â