14 May 2013

Kenya: Protest Over MPs' Pay Turns into a Pig Deal

Photo: Capital FM
Kenyan civil society groups unleashed pigs and poured jerrycans of blood smack outside Parliament, as a gesture of contempt for MPs - labelled MPigs - for demanding higher pay.

Nairobi — Civil society groups on Tuesday outdid themselves as they unleashed more than 10 pigs and poured jerrycans of blood smack outside Parliament, as a symbolic gesture of the contempt they have for Members of Parliament – labelled MPigs – for demanding higher pay.

The demonstrators, who caught the country’s attention, started the protest at Freedom Corner before going down Kenyatta Avenue onto Tom Mboya and Harambee Avenues before converging at Parliament where they ‘occupied’ the main entrance.

Just when the media thought the drama was near over after some chanting, a mini-van approached Parliament where a pig and piglets were offloaded, turning the already wild crowd into a dazed frenzy. The area was soon painted red with blood ferried in jerrycans.

While the piglets squealed in panic, the demonstrators carried them in the air as if in a spell, chanting ‘haki yetu.’

“We are here because of what MPs have been demanding for. It is unfortunate that the first thing they thought about when they got to Parliament was a pay hike. That is a show of impunity because they are already making enough. Their pay should actually be reduced,” said Boniface Mwangi, the protest’s leader.

After an hour of jostling, police deployed water cannon and fired teargas canisters to disperse the daring group but the protestors remained defiant and instead continued testing the patience of the police.

This tolerance however ran thin and one of the demonstrators found himself on the receiving end when one of the policemen started clobbering him.

A courageous protestor however lunged forward and used his body to shield the activist from the unforgiving law enforcer.

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