Public outcry has led to the Kenyan government to cut MP salaries by $45,000 to $75,000 (approximately 40%). Protesters called the Kenyan MPs ‘MPigs’ forcing this decision despite a previous decision in May where MPs saw their salary rise to $120,000.
However, MPs will receive a $58,000 car allowance for agreeing with the cut, as well as a large pension, an armed guard, a diplomatic passport and access to airport VIP lounges. The MPs believe that they deserve the high salaries, often providing financial help to their constituents. Although many would agree the MPs are hard working the public outrage stemmed from the fact that they were receiving well over the national average income of $1,800 per year.
Should Kenyan MPs have their salary cut? If so what should be done with the money?
Proscovia Oromait, who turned 20 a couple of weeks ago, is Africa’s youngest and is suspected to be the world’s youngest legislator. Just months earlier she had been still at school in Uganda studying for her A-levels, but now she has much larger fish to fry. Her original plan was to finish her education first, but she was thrust into the spotlight in July last year by the sudden death of her father, the MP Michael Oromait. Ms Oromait threw herself into campaigning, and in September she won the by-election for his seat in Usuk County, with the backing of President Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. She stated earlier this month that she is “so proud of what [she] is”.
However, behind what may seem like an innovative move in politics, feelings are mixed. Ms Oromait’s age has caused a stir in a country where President Museveni, 68, has five septuagenarians in his Cabinet and the average age of ministers is 62. Already the critics are lining up decry her lack of experience, no matter that she more accurately represents a nation where 78 per cent of the population is under 30. Many would argue that a politician should be relatively old as they are likely to have greater knowledge, expertise and experience thus being a positive force on politics. But, the debate lies in whether a young politician, like Oromait, could do the job just as well as an older politician or are they doomed for failure?!