Lawmakers seek own security, diplomatic passports

Members of Parliament and their spouses will have their own security unit and diplomatic passports if the Parliamentary Service Bill 2015 becomes law.

The Bill provides for creation of the Parliamentary Fund, which will give the lawmakers more control of taxpayers’ money allocated to them in the budget.

“There shall be paid into the Parliamentary Fund such monies as may be appropriated from the consolidated fund, any grants, gifts, donations or bequest and monies from investments of the commission and such fees imposed or levies administered by the commission,” the Bill says.

It also seeks to give MPs access to airport VIP lounges.

The diplomatic passport will grant the holders red carpet treatment in foreign countries, faster access of visas, restriction on arrests in foreign capitals, access to airport VIP lounges and  no payment of airport departure and entry taxes.

These benefits are available to the President and the Deputy President as well as their immediate families, cabinet secretary, principal secretaries and Parliament speakers.

“The Parliamentary Police Unit shall be responsible for provision of security to members, staff and property of Parliament and authorised persons within the precincts of Parliament,” the Bill, which repeals the Parliamentary Service Commission Act, states.

The Bill also seeks to block dissemination of information on matters touching on Parliamentary Service Commission.