, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 23 – Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders have opened up a mobile money transfer account to raise funds to pay striking teachers.
The account pay bill number is 672 672.
Their leader Raila Odinga and his co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka have already opened it up with Sh100,000 and are now urging Kenyans to contribute.
“Even if you have Sh50, just contribute. Let’s support our teachers,” Odinga appealed.
Still this year, the coalition had opened a similar account to support victims of terror.
Odinga made the remarks at Uhuru Park rally attended by several opposition leaders, including Musyoka and former ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o.
“The Constitution requires the Provincial Administration to be restructured and re-aligned with the devolution. To date, the system remains largely in place, with only change of names of the positions. It is ballooning the wage bill,” he pointed out.
“The teachers, like most Kenyans have lost patience with a small clique that says the economy is booming, that the times are great, the salaries are good and the government is doing a great job. We must stand with the teachers against a government thriving on lies and theft.”
Odinga who disagrees with figures given by President Uhuru Kenyatta on wage bill insists that the government has enough money to pay teachers.
“If the Government paid Sh568 billion wage bill last year and has budgeted Sh329 billion for salaries this year, is the Government wage bill falling?” he questioned.
“We maintain that the published figures are the true figures, not those in political statements. Our public wage bill is only 32 percent of revenue.”
On his part, President Kenyatta argued that the mandate of the Salary Remuneration Commission “is to set, review and advise on the remuneration of all state and public servants, including teachers and myself, with a view to ensuring that the public wage bill is fiscally sustainable. At the moment, our public wage bill accounts for 52 percent of revenue.”
“The global average for middle-income countries like us is about 35pc. Further, the public wage bill accounts for more than 10pc of our Gross Domestic Product, well above the middle-income country average of about 5pc.All public and state officers, myself included, number 680,000, just about 1.5pc of the entire Kenyan population.”
He noted that out of that, the Sh1.1 trillion collected in revenue last year, Sh568 billion went to pay our wages, meaning that 1.5pc of the public servants consumed 52pc of the revenues.
Others who addressed the rally include Senators Boni Khalwale Johnstone Muthama and NARC Kenya leader Martha Karua.
“We want the President to resolve the education issues now… people are suffering,” Karua said.
The Orange Democratic Movement Chairman John Mbadi on his part insisted that he will sponsor a motion to impeach the President.
The teachers unions were however not present during the rally following a ban by the court in engaging any protest until a case in court is resolved.