Protest march planned against MPs’ pay push

By Ally Jamah

Nairobi, Kenya: Civil society leaders have announced a major protest march to Parliament Tuesday to express opposition against the push by MPs to disband the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and raise their salaries significantly.

Speaking Sunday in Nairobi, the leaders said their demonstration, dubbed “Occupy Parliament”, will mobilise Kenyans against what they termed as the “greedy MPs” and roll back their quest for more money. They plan to present a petition to Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi.

Rev Timothy Njoya said SRC undertook its constitutional duty of setting salaries of State officers, adding that if MPs have any genuine complaints against SRC, they should go to court rather than going after the commission.

“As usual, greedy and careless MPs have decided to abuse the privilege bestowed on them by Kenyans. But this time no law protects their position. They chose to act with impunity and continue to clutch at the straws of unconstitutional laws,” he said.

He added: “When they were running for MP, they knew very well the salaries they would be earning. They should now not come back and say they need more money because they have loans and mortgages to pay. That is none of our business.”

Disown quest

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National Civil Society Congress President Morris Odhiambo supported President Uhuru Kenyatta’s remarks that the public wage bill must be brought down to a manageable level. He called on the President to come out strongly and outrightly disown the MPs’ quest for higher salaries.

Activist Florence Kanywa asked the President to publicly rebuke Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi’s plan to introduce a Motion in Parliament to disband the SRC, as he comes from his party, TNA.

She threatened that the civil society may start collecting signatures in Linturi’s constituency to have him recalled if he persists with his plans against the SRC.

The leaders also lambasted members of county assemblies who have suspended their work indefinitely until the salaries are revised upwards. They said such a move was a spanner against devolution.

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Salaries and Remuneration Commission Rev Timothy Njoya Mithika Linturi