NAIROBI, Kenya June 2 – Civil society groups are planning to stage another demonstration on Tuesday next week to press MPs drop their salary increase demand.
Led by Morris Odhiambo of the National Civil Society Congress, the lobby groups said they are also opposed to tactics of intimidation employed by the legislators who have threatened to slash budgets of independent commissions.
This follows threats issued by a group of MPs last week to cut down President Uhuru Kenyatta’s salary and that of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.
“These MPs are desperate and cornered they don’t know what to do. So in their reaction they are saying things that an ordinary thinking man should never say,” Odhiambo told journalists on Sunday.
The MPs have also threatened to slash the budgetary allocations to the independent commissions by 43 percent, reduce Value Added Tax paid on commodities and exempt Kenyans earning below Sh50, 000 from paying tax.
“We call upon Kenyans to turn up in large numbers during the ‘Occupy Parliament Reloaded’ on Tuesday, June 11. The struggle against myopia, greed, corruption and wastage of public resources is a critical part of struggle for a just society,” he emphasized.
The group maintains that the MPs were not justified to challenge the decision made by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) because it was set way before the legislators joined the August house.
The civil society group has accused Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi of what they termed as misleading information that it was mandatory for SRC to table all its recommendations before parliament for approval.
MPs insist they are justified to demand Sh851,000 monthly salary as opposed to the Sh532,000 recommended by the salaries team.
Florence Kanyua, an official of the civil society group, said the salaries team is independent with a clear mandate.
“We are not going to accept any salary increment for them. We are not going to be intimidated. The MPs are doing this for their personal interests,” she noted.
“Kenyans of goodwill have to know that these MPs have plans to jeopardize Uhuru’s government so that he doesn’t leave any legacy. That is why they want to say anybody earning below Sh50, 000 not to pay tax, so that the government does not have enough money to operate,” she claimed.
The group however, said it will not involve pigs in their planned protest.
Nearly a dozen protesters were arrested two weeks ago when they staged a similar protest with pigs outside parliament.