Kenya: Civil Servants Should Down Tools if Their Salaries are Reduced
If there was a socialist, militant or revolutionary Trade Union representing the badly exploited Kenya’s Civil Servants, the key pre-occupation of such a Union in the face of pay-cut plans by a corrupt President would be to prepare and radicalize workers in the direction of a protracted national strike action, not sleeping on the job. The plan by Uhuru’s corrupt government to reduce salaries of Civil Servants by 10% allegedly to cut the National Wage Bill (which stands at Ksh 400 billion) is probably the filthiest conspiracy by the rotten Jubilee capitalist elite to openly defraud overburdened workers who are perpetually living on starvation wages.
If implemented, over half a million workers in the entire Civil Service will be driven deeper into poverty and great human suffering while the wealth grabbers running the corrupt government will emerge unscathed. If their salaries are reduced by even 1%, a modest reaction of affected workers should be an immediate downing of tools to bring the Uhuru government to a standstill followed by a protracted campaign for a “regime change” to overthrow the Jubilee government on grounds that it is being led by a bunch of corrupt thieves now seeking to rob workers of their salaries through the familiar “politics of deception” usually employed by every mafia cartel that has ever controlled State House in Kenya.
In his propaganda to propagate the “reduce salaries” crusade, ICC suspect Uhuru Kenyatta has claimed that he will himself have his salary reduced by 20%, leaving him with a monthly pay of Ksh 989,600 while his Deputy President, William Ruto will take home Ksh 841,500.
Compared to the minimum wage of a Nairobi worker (who earns Ksh 8,500), the main victims of Uhuru’s planned salary slash are obvious. However, an important detail in the argument is the overt and shameless deception of workers that since the salaries of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are also being slashed by an even bigger margin (20% as opposed to workers’ 10%), “everybody is in it” and that Uhuru and Ruto “are sacrificing even more” than the workers. Unfortunately, these are the rotten tactics used by an equally rotten ruling class bent on stealing from poor and deprived workers as the crisis of capitalism gives way to political and economic gangsterism before the expected anarchy in the management of public affairs eventually sets in.
It is pathetic that once again, workers may have to take the shit from thieves running government without a fight because their Unions are emasculated while the official Opposition (led by Cord) has effectively been castrated. After more than four decades of struggle for political pluralism; the overthrow of the Moi/KANU dictatorship; the establishment of a new constitutional order and the revamping of the Judiciary, Kenya is ripe for a fresh and revolutionary Movement or Party whose agenda is not to further push for reforms on a capitalist basis but to overturn and abolish the capitalist system which has effectively failed citizens. This is because the system is rotten beyond reform and even the traditional reformists across the country have abandoned the Reform movement leaving the stage for revolution. In fact, there is nothing left to reform.
Capitalist crisis will drive Kenya into total chaos
Put into perspective, the plan by the Jubilee government to reduce Workers’ salaries is fresh evidence that the greedy gang of wealth grabbers running government like a family business have no mercy or sympathy towards thousands of suffering and deprived Civil Servants in Kenya. Interestingly, this posture is normal because capitalism is “man-eat-man” society. The top cream of the regime has a series of allowances that will ensure that they are insulated from the effects of high inflation that has reduced Kenyan workers to sheer paupers. Among the allowances the rich enjoy are: commuter, housing, medical, transport, entertainment, foreign trips, uniform, sitting, extraneous, standing, special salary, just to mention but a few.
Specifically, the highest cadre in the Civil Serve structure is job group V (Cabinet Secretaries) whose holders take home Ksh 889, 912 in allowances as compared to their second lowest counterparts in job group B whose holders take home Ksh 16, 423 in allowances. For job group V holders, the allowances are on top of a basic salary of Ksh 737,332. Officially, some Civil Servants are entitled to a monthly house allowance of Ksh 99, 188, extraneous allowance of Ksh 107, 143, entertainment allowance of Ksh 104,000 and another Ksh 469, 156 as special salary.
Under the circumstances, it is nothing but “the politics of deception” for Uhuru to argue that since top Civil Servants (with him in the lead) will have their salaries slashed, everybody “needs to sacrifice” because the wage bill is too huge. It is the kind of argument that can only be accepted by zombies being led by another confused zombie and surely, Kenya is not a country of zombies. For every concerned Kenyan, this is why the question of revolution to overthrow the wealth grabbers needs to be on the table before a persistent crisis within the system drives the country’s population into anarchy and total chaos. Kenya needs a new revolutionary order.
To bring about a democratic “regime change” that can effectively abolish the dictatorship of the rich in Kenya, the capitalist system that has been tried for more than 50 years and which has failed the citizens will also have to go.
A Socialist government needs to come to power in Kenya
In France, a “Socialist” party is in power while in Chile, a “Socialist” president was sworn in on Tuesday this week after a Socialist party swept to power in the just concluded General elections in Chile. In Venezuela’s last elections, a Socialist party romped to victory and is following in the footsteps of the late revolutionary socialist, Hugo Chavez. To be exact, Latin America has been riding on a Leftist tide for many years now with workers across the Latin American continent overthrowing rotten capitalist regimes and replacing them with Socialist dictatorships to build Workers’ states.
In these countries, working people have been playing leading roles in struggles to take over corrupt capitalist governments in order to run societies in the interest of workers and the oppressed. In retrospect, why have struggles in Kenya stagnated to an extent that workers are mere spectators in struggle as the rich slash their salaries, increase prices of basic consumer commodities and loot public wealth created by workers who are the biggest financers of the government through taxation?
The answer is that workers in Kenya have never been represented in the struggle for power because of the absence of a Workers’ Party armed with a revolutionary Program of action. From an organized political position, there is currently no force in Kenya seeking to stop a corrupt Jubilee regime that came to power through a stolen election from stealing the hard-earned cash of toiling workers already ravaged by low wages, disorientated by years of economic deprivation and ruined by high inflation.
The reason why a Workers’ Party is not yet on the ground is because workers are still not yet conscious of the need to organize politically. Millions of workers still believe in the illusion that the traditional Trade Unions led by the corrupt Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) can effectively represent their interests. If the Civil Servants Union is sleeping on the job on the eve of the biggest “mass salary cuts” by an illegitimate regime, the alternative force that ought to have been calling for a strike is COTU but Atwoli also appears to be in deep sleep. In the end, the Jubilee regime will end up slashing salaries of workers without a single organized political opposition. The situation calls for a serious rethinking especially by the millions of workers without whose input, there can be no government and no money for the ruling class to loot.
Workers’ salaries should be going up, not down
The Kenya Red Alliance condemns the planned salary cuts of Civil Servants by Jubilee and calls on affected workers to counter the plan by heeding a KRA call for a strike action. In the last 12 months, 56 cases of high level corruption were brought by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission before the Deputy Public Prosecutor Keraiko Tobiko but so far, there has been no action. The point is that money lost through corruption (estimated at Ksh 300 billion annually) is what is creating a gap in Kenya’s annual budget, not lack of revenue. Because of corruption, the Kenya Revenue Authority is only collecting 35% of taxes so once again, the problem is not lack of money but lack of what can be called “government” to take control of Kenya’s economy since the Jubilee government is simply a Committee of looters led by suspected war criminals who were rigged to power to fight ICC cases.
Civil Servants are an easy target for the Jubilee government because this government has never experienced the wrath of workers. The proposed salary cuts should serve as a wake-up call to workers especially on the need for them to seek Socialist solutions to a political mess occasioned by greedy tumbo kubwas running the affairs of the State.
The real and lasting solution when capitalism enters into one crisis after another is a democratic Socialist revolution led by workers. As long as Kenyan workers believe that there is a short cut to prosperity through another new Constitution, a new IEBC or a new Willy Mutunga sitting on top of the Judiciary, they will, most likely, die starving. This is because capitalism is ruthless and no fundamental political, social or economic progress will be made in Kenya if the system cannot be smashed to open the way for the establishment of socialism and the reconstruction of society along socialist principles. KRA’s leadership appeals to Workers and the oppressed in Kenya to either begin studying the ideas of KRA or join the formation because there is no viable political alternative. KRA believes that Workers’ salaries in Kenya out to be going up, not down!
Kenya Red Alliance (KRA)