Raila Odinga dismisses MPs’ pay rise demands


Raila Odinga dismisses MPs' pay rise demands
Opposition leader Raila Odinga at ACK St. Francis Church, Karen for the memorial service of former Maendeleo ya Wanawake Chair, the late Jane Kiano. PHOTO| RAILA ODINGA| FACEBOOK

In Summary

  • In a statement to newsrooms on Sunday, Mr. Odinga said the country is undergoing a difficult economic phase and such raises would only hurt Kenyans more.
  • The former premier further stated that the pay hike demand by MPs comes at a time other employees in the public sector, such as teachers and nurses, are going through pay restraint.
  • The ODM party chief urged the legislators to recognize the huge debt burden plaguing the country.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has slammed attempts by Members of Parliament (MPs) to raise their salaries saying it amounts to grand larceny and impunity.

In a statement to newsrooms on Sunday, Mr. Odinga said the country is undergoing a difficult economic phase and such raises would only hurt Kenyans more.

The former premier further stated that the pay hike demand by MPs comes at a time other employees in the public sector, such as teachers and nurses, are going through pay restraint and accepting less pay for more work.

“He (Odinga) therefore finds the Parliamentary Service Commission Bill a case of Grand Larceny and an anti-people and insensitive demand that should be disowned and rejected as inappropriate and unacceptable to a great majority of Kenyans if not all, at this time,” reads the statement sent by Mr. Odinga’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango.

“Mr. Odinga is appealing to members of parliament to appreciate that the country is struggling with huge debts that cut through the broad spectrum of our economy and deficits strangling specific critical sectors.”

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party chief urged the legislators to recognize the huge debt burden plaguing the country, adding that they – “as custodians of the wishes and feelings of the people” – should lead the government in ensuring responsible use of public resources instead of piling on the burden.

Odinga also dissuaded MPs from presumably returning the country to the pre-2010 Constitution era when the decision of their pay was out of control of the public as opposed to the present state when that power lies with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

“The SRC has warned that the pay demand by MPs, if effected, would touch off a clamour for similar raises across public sector where many spirited officers are currently doing with little to deliver much to our citizens,” adds the statement.

“Mr. Odinga appeals to the legislators to stand with the people of Kenya and also to stop the erosion of public trust in MPs through this grand larceny and grand impunity that they are trying to force on tax payers.”

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Story By Ian Omondi
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