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Our wives need diplomatic passports, MPs propose

MPs have come up with more extravagant proposals that will afford them additional specialised treatment.

Among proposals contained in the Parliamentary Service Bill by Eldas MP Adan Keynan include diplomatic passports for MPs, speakers and clerks of both houses and members of the Parliamentary Service Commission and their spouses if it is passed into law.

The MPs also want a special police unit to protect Parliament’s leaders and MPs and a university for legislators and parliament staff.

Tabled in the National Assembly on Wednesday, the Bill says the police unit will be under the supervision of the National Police Service and Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet shall appoint an officer in the rank of assistant commissioner or higher to head it.

The PSC has accorded itself wide ranging powers over the proposed unit, set up in similar fashion to the presidential police escort.

The Bill says the Inspector-General of Police and National Police Service Commission are expected to take into account the views of the PSC over operating procedures and staffing for of the unit.

“The commission may request the transfer or redeployment of officers,” it says.

It is unclear why MPs require a special unit as they already enjoy protection by police.

The Bill, which is likely to elicit memories of a Parliament keen on pampering itself at the expense of taxpayers, also seeks to create a parliamentary fund whose key provision is that allocations from the Treasury would not be returned should there be a balance at the end of the financial year.

The Bill is also likely to raise questions about access to public information, with fines of Sh50,000 or one year in prison for employees who divulge information regarding its operations without the permission of the chairperson.

According to Mr Keynan, the proposed law is meant to align the PSC with the new Constitution.