News / Africa

    MP Pay Raise Protests Continue in Kenya

    Kenyan demonstrators, march towards parliament in Nairobi, Kenya, June 11, 2013, as they protest against what they see as the greed of their legislator leaders.
    Kenyan demonstrators, march towards parliament in Nairobi, Kenya, June 11, 2013, as they protest against what they see as the greed of their legislator leaders.
    Kenyan civil society groups have staged their second protest in less than a month against the decision by legislators to increase their own salaries.  The protesters insist that what the members of parliament are paid is enough.

    Demonstrators at the Kenyan parliament Tuesday poured animal blood on the street and tossed fake printed money at the gate, symbolizing the greed of the Kenyan lawmakers.

    Musician Eric Wainaina, who was among more than 100 protesters, said there are other workers who deserve a pay rise more than legislators.

    “We are here to campaign against the higher salaries MPs want to give themselves because the economy of Kenya cannot afford it and there are so many people who need to be aligned -- the doctors and the nurses and MPs are putting themselves ahead,” he said.

    This is the third time that lobby groups held demonstrations against the lawmakers.  Last month, they paraded pigs outside parliament as part of their protests. 

    Gaberiel Mayeye, 58, believes demonstrations will make a difference and will stop the lawmakers from abusing their power even further. 

    “How do we know that if we leave this to continue one day they will wake up and say that they will not leave this parliament forever?  So we are just trying to prevent it before it comes worse,” said Mayeye.

    Another protester, Caroline Akoth, said the salary dispute shows parliament considers itself above everybody, including the new president.

    “This thing has started off badly since the new president came in, there is insecurity we are even surprised and members of parliament are not even listening to the president.  It’s like they disrespect him too,” she said.

    Newly-elected President Uhuru Kenyatta, in his first address to the parliament in April, expressed concern the cost of public wages is too high, and stated his desire to bring it down.

    On March 4, the salary and remuneration commission revised lawmakers’ salaries down from $10,240 to $6,400 per month.

    But the local media is reporting some MPs received $10,000 for the month of May, prompting the commission to warn whoever gets paid more than $6,400 will be made to pay some money back. 

    Kenya currently spends 12 percent of its gross domestic product on public wages.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora