9 May 2013

Kenya: Uhuru Blasts Lawmakers Over Pay Demand

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has again lashed out at elected leaders to stop dwelling on salary increments but to instead focus on the country's development agenda.

Speaking during the burial of the late Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo, Kenyatta said it was disappointing that the leaders are busy complaining about salaries and trying to force through a pay hike.

"Sometimes it really hurts. Instead of asking how we are going to serve our people, we are asking ourselves how we are going to get more money in our pockets. Please let us do what is important first which is serving Kenyans. When we do this, I am sure the potential that we have can improve Kenya," he asserted.

During the opening of the 11th Parliament, Kenyatta informed lawmakers that the government did not have money to support their salary demands and instead urged to focus on their work.

MPs and County Assembly members have been in heated debates that have spurred public emotions over complaints that the salaries they are getting are too low compared to the work they do.

Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi moved a Motion in Parliament to eject members of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) from office, for reducing lawmakers' pay.

He explained that the commission did not follow due process in setting MPs' salaries and argued that the action was meant to punish them.

His motion got overwhelming support in Parliament despite discontent from the Kenyan population.

County Assembly representatives have also complained that their salaries are too low and have asked the government to adjust them.

Apart from the salaries debate that has caught the attention of Kenyans, MPs have been engaging in public rivalry especially over the establishment of parliamentary committees.

Kenyatta used the opportunity to urge them to desist from political sideshows that he said were derailing the country in its quest to tackle issues affecting Kenyans.

"We will continue to work together as Kenyans and build Kenya together. Too much politics will not help us. As a devolved government let us work together to improve lives of Kenyans," he pleaded.


Judie is a Special Projects Reporter. She has eight years experience in Journalism in Kenya and Germany. She has scooped awards in Reproductive Health, Population and Development and Gender and Development. She has participated in international conferences in Germany. She has a soft spot for human rights and justice stories.

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