Kenyan President, Kenyatta reprimands lawmakers for fighting pay cut

The re-elected President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta reproached newly elected members of parliament on Thursday for resisting cuts to their salaries and fringe benefits, worth more than $10,000 a month, and said citizens were angry with extravagance in the government, Reuters reports.

Kenyatta vowed not to assent to any law reversing the reductions in legislators’ wages if the court upholds his victory.

A lawmaker who sits on the parliamentary service commission, Gladys Wanga, told Reuters on Wednesday the cuts, which have already taken effect, would turn MPs into “beggars”, and vowed to oppose them when parliament restarts next week.

Kenyatta told a televised meeting with headteachers, “I’m greatly disturbed by the remarks we have been hearing from yesterday of individuals who wish to claim that they should be paid more and they will demand more than what the law provides them.

“Even as I wait for the Supreme Court to rule (on the election) if it rules in my favor, I’m saying before you, I swear I shall not sign that law.”

The annual bill for paying 700,000 public employees, including elected leaders, stands at 627 billion shillings ($6.1 billion), which is equal to half of the government’s revenue.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), which sets wage levels, said last month it would slash salaries of top officials, including the president and lawmakers, to save 8.5 billion shillings a year.

The cuts include scrapping a 5 million-shilling car grant given to every legislator, removal of certain allowances and a 90,000-shilling reduction in basic monthly pay.

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