, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 11 – The Katiba Sasa Campaign group is to hold countrywide protests this week seeking to compel Members of Parliament to back down from their hard stance over their proposed pay hikes.
Chairman Morris Odhiambo on Sunday described the demands by the legislators as unreasonable since it would bring down the country\’s economy.
"The said protests will be held to oppose the theft of our resources by our so called representatives in parliament and to show Kenyans the extent of corruption in the current leadership," he said. "They are a follow-up of the actions we have taken in the past to assert accountability."
He urged Kenyans to vote Yes for the Proposed Constitution since it contained clauses that prevent MPs from increasing their own salaries.
"The long term solution to the present crisis is found in the proposed new constitution of Kenya and therefore we call on all Kenyans to vote Yes during the August 4 referendum. It gives us a number of tools that we shall use to assert accountability among MPs," he said.
He explained that article 230 creates the Salaries and Remunerations Commission that shall set salaries of all state officers including MPs. Article 260 defines the MPs as state officers and therefore makes them subject to the commission.
He further stated that under article 210(Imposition of Tax) which states that \’No law may exclude or authorise the exclusion of a state officer from payment of tax\’ will compel the legislators to pay tax.
Retired PCEA Bishop reverend Timothy Njoya echoed his sentiments, and called on MPs to put the interests of Kenyans ahead of their own.
"We did not elect our MPs to kill our economy or destroy our infrastructure by depriving it of the necessary resources and shocking our recovery," the Reverend said.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Human Rights Commission\’s Deputy Executive Director Tom Kagwe has appealed to the two coalition principals to step up their efforts in resolving the issue of MPs salary increment.
He said their taking an active part in parliament during the salaries debate would have a positive impact on the matter.
"The only thing that the President can do is to sit with the Prime Minister and do what they did on April 1. They should attend parliament and debate and discuss the issue even if it ends at 9pm," he pointed out.
He said that their presence in the House would further impress upon the legislators the need to focus on more important issues.
"The best thing to do is for the President and Prime Minister to attend parliament on Tuesday to discuss the adjournment motion since most of the MPs will be there unless they are out on official business," he said.
Elsewhere speaking to Capital Newsbeat, Nairobi councillors joined those opposing the pay proposal by Members of Parliament.
Huruma councillor Maina Njehia described it as a selfish move by the lawmakers who should concentrate instead on service delivery to Kenyans.
"Most of the MPs do not go back to their electoral areas. What they are trying to do now is wrong and they should think now of the ordinary Kenyan," he said.
"Myself, I get Sh100, 000 as salary and I pay over Sh27,000 as tax and the MPs get nearly a million shillings of which they do not pay tax. Are they special?" He asked.
He explained that as councillors, the money they are paid is not enough but they still use it to serve the people in their wards.
"Every morning when I wake up, they are people on my doorstep seeking my help and I have to take care of their problems using my money which is being taxed," he stated.
Kasarani ward councillor John Njoroge called on the MPs to back down from their hard stances as it would negate the country\’s achievements.
"It is not only the MPs who are hard hit by the economy. They just want to live in a very special cloud whereby when there is a problem, they steal from the government and by extension the ordinary Kenyan."