Taxpayers will spend millions of dollars to buy laptops to allow lawmakers to participate in actual meetings if lawmakers approve a report recommending to the Council ways to combat Covid-19 disruption.
A taxpayer may receive a bill of up to 105 million shillings for the purchase of laptops for 350 MPs, assuming everyone gets an Apple MacBook Pro, which can cost up to 300,000 shillings.
Sh105 million does not include the cost of purchasing a laptop for 68 senators, as well as speakers.
“The committee recommends that Parliament consider giving members of the Computer Parliament a laptop computer for public meetings,” the Broadcasting Committee and Library Library said in a report tabled in Parliament last Thursday.
The committee, among other findings, said lawmakers preferred laptops to iPads for real meetings.
Kenyan lawmakers are among the highest paid MPs in the world, but the break caused by Covid-19 in rallies has deprived lawmakers of increasing their income through a range of benefits such as mileage allowances, siege and subsistence benefits available through the streets and travel abroad.
MPs also receive 5,000 shillings for a committee meeting, with the chairman receiving 10,000 shillings. The vice president is voting for Sh 7,500.
Other benefits include subsistence allowance (Shs 19,000), housing allowance (Shs 250,000) and medical care (Shs 10 million).
In addition to their high salaries, MPs are entitled to a car grant of 5 million shillings, a mortgage of 20 million shillings and a car loan of 7 million shillings.
Recommendations for free laptops on the provision of free laptops to MPs follows the results of a working group that the Parliamentary Secretary appointed to examine all available options on the appropriate technological solution as the Chamber can conduct all its sessions as committee work while considering protocols of the Ministry of Health on a container of Covid-19.