ke-mapKenyan Members of Parliament, have voted to increase their salaries to about $10,000 a month when the average monthly salary in Kenya is according some sources about $76 and according other sources at best about $140. There are 416 MPs.

All this happened after the new president Uhuru Kenyatta urged MPs to accept pay cuts in order to free up cash to create jobs, something the lawmakers think is illegal and against their dignity.

They are already among the highest paid in the world and their demands triggered angry protests, with hundreds of people with pigs in front of the Parliament shouting against the lawmakers and the vote.

They already had a $107,000 retirement bonus, an armed guard, a diplomatic passport and access to airport VIP lounges. All this, they explained, because they  worked very hard.

Legislators also argued they needed high wages because constituents expected them to provide charitable support. Some also said that MPs could be vulnerable to bribes if their salaries were set too low.

Too low is the average monthly salary in Kenya for ordinary people. And to high the unemployment rate that stands at 40 percent in a country with a lot of poverty. And if the lawmakers think that to cut their salaries is an attack to their dignity, they have to think about people’s dignity. People who have to survive with three or five dollars a day if they are lucky enough to have jobs, or people unemployed with a desperate need of help. People to whom they have to serve as representatives and not simply be above them as a higher class living in another world without problems.

About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

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Africa, Ethics, Justice, World and Politics

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