Friday, January 11, 2013

(Politics) Kenyan MP Pay Rise: foxes in the henhouse




I’m sure most you reading this (including myself) would like to vote on what they get paid when they retire but unfortunately for us, were not shameless MP’s from Kenya who voted for their retirement package yesterday which includes, according to a BBC News report, “an armed guard, a diplomatic passport and access to airport VIP lounges”[1].

This isn’t the first time that Kenyan MPs have tried to add more weight to their purse as in 2012, Kenya president vetoed an attempt by the MPs to earn a $100,000 bonus despite being best paid politicians in the continent[2] This comes in the face of the Kenyan government being less than hospitable to the plight of public sector workers as it has “repeatedly dismissed the wage demands of striking public sector workers, arguing that the funds were not available”[3].

However the real tragedy of this situation is that the wage is linked to performance or the salaries of politicians are not in line with the salary of the average Kenyan which nearly 13 times less annually than their elected ‘representatives’[4].

There is definitely going to be a push back against MPs voting for  their salaries and bonuses as last year it provoked people to march in the streets in protest while rightly defiling their politicians as “thieves and greedy hyenas”[5].

The timing was especially terrible after the government had initially rebuff teacher strikes leaving a ‘protest organizer’ to wander aloud  "How come our teachers had to strike for three weeks to get a salary hike, yet within a single sitting the MPs could easily increase their remuneration?"[6].

In sum, while Kenya’s lawmakers, at the expense of the taxpayer, can secure a raise so large that it would take a Kenyan “earning the minimum wage…61 years to earn the equivalent” just by voting it, they should expect, better yet anticipate the ire of their constituents and the nation as a whole as there is no room for politicians who seem to have no shame about maximizing their wages based on nothing but their own greed[7].


[1] BBC News, 2013, Kenyan MPs vote themselves $100,000 retirement bonus, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20975602
[2] BBC News, 2012, Kenya President Mwai Kibaki rejects MPs’ bonus attempt,  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19892524
[3] BBC News, 2013, Kenyan MPs vote themselves $100,000 retirement bonus, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20975602
[4] Ibid
[5] BBC News, 2012, Kenya President Mwai Kibaki rejects MPs’ bonus attempt,  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19892524
[6] Ibid, quoted by BBC News
[7] Ibid

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