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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in public More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid