Protests in Kenya after MPs vote to give themselves massive bonus; President will veto bill


Kenyan demonstrators march in Nairobi on October 9, 2012 after lawmakers voted themselves a $110,000 sendoff bonus, with tax hikes expected to pay for it. The proposed lucrative payoff -- at a cost to the country of $24.7 million -- comes after Kenya's parliament dismissed the majority of wage demands of striking public sector workers, including doctors and teachers.



Protesters marched through Kenya's capital, Nairobi, on Tuesday after members of parliament voted to give themselves a massive salary bonus.

According to the Economist, Kenyan lawmakers are already among the best paid in the world when salaries are compared to their country's GDP.

Now they might also receive a sendoff bonus of $110,000 each, to be paid when parliament breaks up ahead of elections due in March 2013, the BBC said.

More from GlobalPost: Healing the world: Kenya

The bonus, which still must be ratified by President Mwai Kibaki, would come at a total cost of about $23 million for the 222 MPs.

Tax hikes would likely be necessary to pay for it, Agence France-Presse reported.

Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, said that he would not allow the bill through if it included provisions for the bonus, calling the move “unconstitutional” and “unaffordable," according to the Telegraph.

Kenya's parliament recently rejected the majority of wage demands of striking public sector workers, including teachers and health care workers, AFP said.

A minimum wage earner in Kenya would have to work for 61 years to earn the equivalent of the MPs' bonus, the news agency said. The Telegraph calculated a figure of 66 years for the average Kenyan.

More from GlobalPost: Kenya government fires 25,000 public health workers for striking