[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Anger as Kenya MPs get huge bonus
Protesters
The protesters say MPs do not deserve such a huge pay-off
Kenyan MPs have voted to award themselves a $22,000 bonus each at the end of their five-year term in December despite a wave of public condemnation.

The move has been condemned by lawyers and human rights activists who say it is "highly immoral". They held a protest against the proposal in July.

The bill also legalises huge perks that ministers have been receiving.

MPs had originally wanted a bonus of $98,000 each but the finance minister said the country could not afford this.

Outrage over Kenyan MPs' bonuses

Kenya's 222 MPs already earn more than $10,000 a month in salaries and expenses, much of which is tax-free, in a country where most people live on less than $1 a day.

Many Kenyans see MPs as lazy and self-interested, who often skip parliamentary sessions unless it concerns a pay rise for themselves.

"It is highly immoral and even if it is not illegal, further research is needed to establish what the taxpayer can do to stop MPs from enriching themselves," said Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights chairman Maina Kiai, according to the Nairobi Star newspaper.

MP's ANNUAL SALARY
Kenya: $35,847
Nigeria: $6,949
South Africa: $53,753
Uganda: $10,313
India: $3,528
UK: $119,438
Source: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, 2005

Mwalimu Mate from the anti-corruption group, Mars, said he was considering taking legal action over the issue.

"There will be a programme of action, which will include public protests," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

"We will also make this an election issue, in that civil society will campaign against incumbents because of this greedy action."

Elections are due in December, with President Mwai Kibaki expected to seek re-election.




RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific