Kenya’s New MPs Demand More Money Before Even Taking Office

Mike Pflanz, Telegraph (London), April 5, 2013

Kenya’s new MPs want a pay rise before they have even taken office, protesting that their £51,000 salary is too low to live on in a country where the average income is less than £100 a month.

Local politicians have also joined the call for more cash, despite Kenya’s £3.5 billion public sector wage bill doubling in the last four years and now consuming half of domestic revenue.

MPs have complained that their salary, much of it tax-free, would not be enough to repay mortgages on new homes or loans on new cars to which they were now entitled.

The shortfall would be made up by officials taking bribes or managing businesses on the side, said Peter Munya, a newly-elected governor of a fertile county in central Kenya.

“MPs may even not be able to pay staff or even buy them tea in the office,” he said.

“So you will find them running around doing other private businesses to meet their needs because what they earn cannot sustain them. Pay them well so that they can be able to do legislative work. That’s all we are asking.”

Kenya’s MPs were among the world’s best paid before a national commission earlier this year ordered their salaries cut to £51,000 from £82,000, which was 30 per cent more than a British backbencher earns.

In response, legislators in the outgoing parliament voted themselves a £17 million bonus to be paid when they left office.

Candidates standing for office in last month’s elections knew the amended rates, yet their first order of business after they are sworn in on April 16 is likely to be an attempt to overturn the income cut.

On at least three occasions since 2003, MPs have hiked their salaries significantly beyond Kenya’s base inflation rate.

Often pay review legislation sweeps through the county’s parliament in a fraction of the time it takes other laws to pass.

“It’s pretty hard to stomach, they’ve not even started work yet and already they are showing the usual signs of extreme greed,” said Daniel Ooko, a computer technician in Kericho in western Kenya.

“We all queued for hours to vote for new MPs who would change this country. What we see we have chosen is the same old system. Truly there can be no change in Kenya.”

MPs argue that they are forced to pay to cover constituents’ demands, including hospital bills, funeral expenses and school fees.

Shuttling between their upcountry homes and parliamentary sittings in Nairobi costs large amounts of money, and entertainment and loan repayments consumes more again, they say.

An earlier independent pay inquiry by Akilano Akiwumi, a former appeal court judge, suggested this was true.

More than half of Kenya’s MPs were left with take-home pay of less than £800 a month, the report found.

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  • Kenya’s new MPs want a pay rise…

    And this where another Kenyan politician comes in to save the day. What sequester?

    • me

      “He’s talking about me wearing feathers and, you know, running around half naked,” said Mr. Obama. “I really detest that kind of thing, especially in this day and this era, just because I’m related to the President of the United States, who happens to be a black man.”–Abong’o Malik Obama. Lost the electoral bid to be the governor of Siaya County in Kenya. Mr. Obama and the President served as the best man at each other’s weddings.

      • OlderWoman

        Every now and then I google “Obama Family Circus” by Jim Goad on Takimag. It reminds me of who that fraud in the White House really is.

  • Rhialto


  • sbuffalonative

    You could give black leaders all the money in the world and their people would still wallow in poverty.

  • The shortfall would be made up by officials taking bribes ……
    I guess you call that being honest about being dishonest.

  • The__Bobster

    Obongonomics, pure and simple. These blueguums knew what the salaries were before they ran for office.

    • Homo_Occidentalis

      I am sure if the salaries are indeed raised, they will resort to bribery anyway. Integrity is rare enough among whites, and nigh unknown in Oboonga’s homeland.

  • The__Bobster

    MPs argue that they are forced to pay to cover constituents’ demands, including hospital bills, funeral expenses and school fees.

    Redistributing their incomes? Spreading the wealth around? Hmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.

  • bigone4u

    In magnitude the problem discussed here is not as bad in south Texas, but Hispanics behave just like their African third world kinfolk. They use government as a tool to eat heartily from the public trough. We know that American blacks do the same. Only through thousands of years of slowly and painfully developing Western law and restraints on government, is the USA any better. But those thousands of years of sacrifice by our white ancestors are proving to be for naught, as we throw it all down the sewer of diversity and multiculturalism.

  • Dey gots ta be haben mo’ money ’cause ob de fine job dey be doin’ running dat country, gnome sayin’? If the paper-pushers don’t get a raise, the vital exports of tea and fresh flowers might suffer!

  • dd121

    Give them smallpox blankets instead. Profit.

  • MikeS

    “Otherwise they will resort to bribery.”

    Don’t they always?

    • Brian

      Bribery, corruption. Whats new under the sun there.

      This Documentary made me laugh. A stupid White woman in Kenya thought she could make a difference. The locals and corrupt politicians and judges made sure otherwise.

      • rhialto

        Thanks for the pointer! It’s a great illustration of the fact: If you go where there are Africans, you will experience African behavior.

        • MikeS

          Like someone once said, “They will destroy you.”

  • Morris LeChat