News / Africa

Kenya MPs Vote Themselves Huge Bonuses

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VOA News
A July 8, 2010 photo shows a demonstrator blowing his whistle outside Parliament buildings in Kenya's capital Nairobi to protest the huge pay rises legislators have awarded themselves.A July 8, 2010 photo shows a demonstrator blowing his whistle outside Parliament buildings in Kenya's capital Nairobi to protest the huge pay rises legislators have awarded themselves.
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A July 8, 2010 photo shows a demonstrator blowing his whistle outside Parliament buildings in Kenya's capital Nairobi to protest the huge pay rises legislators have awarded themselves.
A July 8, 2010 photo shows a demonstrator blowing his whistle outside Parliament buildings in Kenya's capital Nairobi to protest the huge pay rises legislators have awarded themselves.
Kenyan lawmakers have voted to give themselves send-off bonuses of nearly $110,000 each - a payment that would take an average Kenyan worker more than 60 years to earn.

The 222-member parliament approved the payoff in a late night session on Wednesday but the vote did not become public until Thursday.

In addition to the bonus, lawmakers voted to give themselves perks that include armed guards, diplomatic passports and access to VIP lounges at Kenyan airports.

They also voted in favor of a hefty payout to retiring President Mwai Kibaki. Mr. Kibaki vetoed a similar bonus package for lawmakers in October, saying it was unconstitutional and untenable given the country's economic circumstances.

There was no immediate word on whether President Kibaki would support the new package, approved on one of the final votes by lawmakers before parliament was to dissolve Thursday.

Kenya holds national elections on March 4.

Kenyan lawmakers are among the best-paid in Africa, earning more than $120,000 a year.

The October vote angered Kenyan citizens and sparked protests against parliament.  

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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