MPs PAY PROTEST ON TOMORROW
A planned demo against the increased MPs pay perks has been postponed.
A group of civil rights groups, under the auspices of the Katiba Sasa Campaign, announced the protest will be held tomorrow. It was to take place yesterday.
Morris Odhiambo of the National Civil Society Congress said the date was changed because many more groups and trade unions wanted to participate.
He said the demo takes place tomorrow even if an emergency cabinet meeting chaired by President Kibaki decides against the Parliamentary Service Commission recommendation to increase MPs salaries.
“The cabinet has its role to play…but the bigger battle would still target parliament tomorrow when we take to the street to deliver our petition to it and Treasury,” Odhiambo said.
Youth Agenda’s Susan Kariuki said the protest will express the anger and frustration of citizens unhappy at the decision opf MPs to give themselves a huge pay raise.
Odhiambo said they are eager to hear the outcome of the cabinet meeting and get President Kibaki’s views because Prime Minister Raila Odinga has already criticised the decision. The Cabinet meeting was postponed in the last-minute yesterday because Kibaki had a series of meetings with visiting Brazilian President Luis Lula Da Dilva.
Apart from the PM, ministers Uhuru Kenyatta, Joseph Nyagah, Beth Mugo are opposed. MP Martha Karua is also opposed.
Odhiambo said plans for the protest have been completed and asked the public to turn up and show their feelings.
The protest starts from Uhuru Park towards Parliament Buildings and Treasury. The police are ready and prepared to provide security for the protest, he said.
With millions of Kenyans living in poverty, Odhiambo said the demo will send a messages to the MPs.
According to the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey, the national absolute poverty declined to 46 per cent in 2005/06 from 55.5 per cent in 2000.
Odhiambo noted that besides the reduction in poverty, the number of people living below the poverty line had increased from 13.4 million 1997 to 16.6 million in 2006.
MPs have stated that the reason for the salary increase was because of inflation.
Odhiambo asked why MPs are affected by inflation.
Finance minister has explained that if the increment has to be effected then he has to source funds from outside the budget.
But the civil society said that repayment would result to heavy taxation.