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 How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves in Landmark Discovery

    Researchers likened discovery to difference between looking at piece of music on paper and then hearing it in real life

    Prince Ali: FIFA Politics Affected International Fixtures

    Some countries faced unfavorable treatment for not toeing political line inside soccer world body, Jordanian candidate to head FIFA says

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.