News / Africa

Kenya Legislators to Debate Report on Pay Commission

A general view of the Kenyan parliament building in the capital Nairobi, March 2008 file photo.
A general view of the Kenyan parliament building in the capital Nairobi, March 2008 file photo.
Peter Clottey
Members of Kenya’s parliament plan to debate Tuesday a report which suggests that officials at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) have violated the constitution.

The Committee on Delegated Legislation compiled the report which it presented to parliament last week.

“One of the issues the report has come up with is that some of the actions of the Salaries and Review Commission were unconstitutional and therefore null and void,” said legislator James Opiyo Wandayi.

Civil society and political pressure groups recently protested against lawmakers’ demands for a salary 130 times the legal minimum wage. The demonstrators released live pigs which they said were symbols of the greed and corruption of politicians.

Displeased with the backlash over their pay increase, legislators demanded the resignation of Sarah Serem, the head of the SRC, after accusing her of demonizing them in public. 

Wandayi says many of his colleagues think that actions of the SRC, an independent body, are illegal.  Some also want to amend the constitution to remove the commission’s ability to determine the legislature’s pay.

“There has been a concerted public campaign by the SRC…of pitting members of the public against parliamentarians. The public has been made to believe that members of parliament are earning too much, yet they are continuing to agitate for even more [money],” said Wandayi.

But Serem and other senior officials of the SRC have denied the accusations.

Wandayi says parliament needs to educate the public over the controversy surrounding lawmakers’ pay.

“The Parliamentary Service Commission, which is in charge of the welfare of members of parliament and other staff of parliament, needs to make a clarification or to do a sensitization [campaign] so the public may come to understand the issues as they are,” continued Wandayi, “because what is not being told is that [legislators] this time around, unlike in the past, are obligated to pay taxes just like any other members of the public.”

Wandayi says Kenyans are justified in their anger over lawmakers’ pay demands, since he says a large portion of the youth are unemployed or in low paying jobs. 

“The poverty level is too high and most people live below a dollar a day, and that actually explains why there is a lot of anger whenever an issue such as this is raised,” said Wandayi.

He says there should be a constitutional amendment to resolve tensions between the SRC and lawmakers over how legislators are paid.

“I cannot rule out either amending the constitution either in the near future or later to address this issue of SRC or any other issue for that matter,” said Wandayi.
Clottey interview with James Opiyo Wandayi, a Kenyan lawmaker
Clottey interview with James Opiyo Wandayi, a Kenyan lawmakeri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs