President Uhuru Kenyatta has sharply criticized Kenyan legislators for objecting to a move to reduce their salaries and benefits.
However, Kenyatta has vowed not to assent to any law reversing the reductions in legislators’ wages.
“It is shameful that we are barely a week away and they have not recognized that many of their colleagues have gone home because this was one issue that made Kenyans angry, and I am stating it now, even as I wait for the Supreme Court to rule. If it rules in my favour, I am saying before you, I swear I shall not sign that law.”
Many elected representatives lost their seats to newcomers and independents in the election. Kenyatta attributed that partly to voter displeasure with excesses. The issue is an emotive one in the East African country where the minimum wage is equivalent to R1300 a month.
“If you go to work one day – even yourselves here, the media – if you go to work one day, and you are told that the salary you were being paid yesterday has been reduced heavily without any specific reason being given to you, you will also ask the similar questions that we ask,” said a Kenyan lawmaker
The opposition ODM party, which sponsored Wanga to Parliament, said it did not support the calls for a reversal of the cuts.
The annual bill for paying Kenya’s 700 000 public employees, including elected leaders, stands at R78 billion.
This is equal to half of the government’s revenue.
– By SABC TV Desk