Kenya: MPs Demand for Higher Salaries is a Reflection of Capitalist Greed, Theft and Plunder
Abolish all privileges for MPs in Kenya
If KRA were in power, the question of MPs demanding higher salaries could not have arisen in the first place. This is because at a salary of Ksh 532.000, their monthly income is already 425 times higher than that of the average income of Kenyans. In fact, a KRA President could have ordered all MPs who are unhappy with their pay to resign from their positions on grounds that Parliament is not a business enterprise but a House which represents the interests of the people of Kenya.
Secondly, a KRA President could have recommended to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to work towards reducing the MPs salaries even further to the level of that of an ordinary worker because according to the KRA Manifesto, an MP’s salary should not be more than that of a skilled worker in Kenya. The reason is that Parliament should not be a source of wealth but an institution that enacts laws in the interest of the people of Kenya.
Thirdly, a KRA government could have recommended the scrapping of all privileges for the MP on grounds that the ordinary worker or Kenyan the MP purports to represent does not enjoy any privileges at the work place. Specifically, a KRA government could have recommended the scrapping of the Vehicle Fixed Cost Allowance of Ksh 336.000 on grounds that every Kenyan who can afford to own a car maintains the machine so why should the representative of the people be treated differently?
Next to go would be the Car Maintenance Allowance which stands at Ksh 247.000. Surely, why should a total of Ksh 583.000 of tax payer’s money (more than half a million Kenyan shillings) be used for monthly maintenance of an MPs car? Apart from greed and robbery of the taxpayer, there is no other explanation. This is why under a KRA government, these allowances would be scrapped for good!
While the MPs would be allowed to maintain House Allowance, a KRA government would recommend a reduction of this allowance from Ksh 70.000 to Ksh 50.000 which is still far beyond that of an average Kenyan worker. The Entertainment Allowance, which stands at Ksh 70.000; the Constituency Allowance, which stands at Ksh 50.000; together with Committee Meeting Allowance which stands at Ksh 40.000, would all be scrapped because of two reasons.
Every Kenyan foots his/her own entertainment bill so why should a person who represents them be entertained at the expense of the tax payer? Secondly, the salary paid to an MP is for the work they do and this includes meetings so why should an MP be paid a “Committee Meeting Allowance?” It is pathetic that the MPs are demanding more money when, together with their allowances, they are already taking home Ksh 1.2 million per month.
The most ridiculous observation is that the MPs are seeking the dissolution of the SRC, a Constitutional body, which they accused of violating the Constitution because their salaries were decided before they were elected to Parliament.
Reduce MPs salaries to Ksh 100.000 of less
Under the circumstances, it is barbaric that the Jubilee government sent police to brutalize Kenyans who gathered outside Parliament to protest against the greed of the MPs. The tear-gassing and brutalization of the protestors by riot police is a clear signal that despite the coming of a new government to power, nothing fundamental has changed in Kenya. Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki all used to send riot police to tear gas peaceful protestors and this is what Uhuru Kenyatta is doing so what has changed?
The treatment of the protesters confirms what KRA has been saying for the last 20 years. In a capitalist State, the role of the police is to protect the interests of the rich. The protesters were not violating any law while Kenyans are within their constitutional right to engage in peaceful Assembly. Under the circumstances, KRA condemns the brutalization of Kenyans who were protesting outside Parliament to stop the greed of the MPs.
It is the responsibility of every Kenyan to struggle against the conversion of Parliament into an institution for wealth grabbing especially by the MPs. The view of KRA is that the struggle against greed by the MPs should go hand in hand with demand for the abolition of the capitalist system of government represented by the Jubilee government and which allows the MPs access to huge salaries and allowances that all amounts to stealing from the tax payer. Debating the dissolution of the SRC is an act of treason because SRC draws its mandate from the Constitution which the President and the MPs vowed to protect.
In demanding for the abolition of s system that encourages greed, wealth grabbing, exploitation of workers and plunder of public resources with impunity, KRA is putting forward the alternative of a Socialist system of government where MPs will be on a salary of an ordinary worker and with no privileges.
Let MPs pay for their vehicles and entertainment. Reduce MPs salaries to Ksh 100.000 or less. Scrap all privileges for the MPs. Scrap Committee Allowance. No Meeting Allowances because meetings are part of the job MPs are hired to perform! Let the MPs resign if they are not happy with their salaries. The Kenyan people are the employers and they have said “NO” to greed, exploitation and plunder of public resources. The greedy M-Pigs must be stopped from looting the Kenyan economy.
Kenya Red Alliance (KRA)