Kenyan police fire teargas at protest over MPs’ pay

Riot policemen hit protestors participating in a demonstration against lawmakers' salary demands outside the parliament buildings in the capital Nairobi, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Riot policemen hit protestors participating in a demonstration against lawmakers’ salary demands outside the parliament buildings in the capital Nairobi, May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Kenyan police fired teargas and water cannon outside parliament on Tuesday to disperse about 200 people demonstrating against lawmakers’ demands for a salary 130 times the legal minimum wage.

Civil rights groups organized the protest to express widespread anger that politicians are demanding a pay rise so soon after a broadly peaceful election on March 4.

Protesters fed pigs’ blood to live pigs at the gates of parliament in the capital Nairobi to symbolize a political class widely regarded as greedy and corrupt.

Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s new president and its richest man, said last week that holding down the state wage bill was key to directing public funds into economic development.

But the appeal was lost on lawmakers, whose pay has been set at 532,000 shillings ($6,300) per month by the state’s Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

Handouts by politicians are common in Kenya, and MPs say they need more money to help pay constituents’ school and medical expenses, as well as to reflect their stature.

They are demanding basic monthly pay of about 850,000 shillings, excluding other allowances – similar to what lawmakers were paid during the last parliament.

Kenyatta increased the minimum wage by 14 percent this month to 6,498 shillings ($77.54) a month – although many of the 80 percent of Kenyan workers employed in the informal sector earn less than this.

In January, hundreds of demonstrators torched coffins outside parliament in protest at legislators who had voted to triple their end-of-term bonuses – an increase that outgoing president Mwai Kibaki refused to sign into law.

($1 = 83.80 Kenyan shillings)

(Additional reporting and writing by James Macharia; Editing by Kevin Liffey)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…