Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Voters just employed MPs so the issue of salary reduction should never arise

I’m writing in response to Francis Atwoli’s “press release” in Tuesday’s Nation in response to Prof Makau Mutua’s comments about the salary demands by MPs.
First and foremost, Mr Atwoli should address this to Kenyans and not Prof Mutua, who just spoke on behalf of many of us without newspaper column space to air our views. It is typical of Mr Atwoli to dare Prof Mutua to “engage locally”.
Why, if may I ask, must Prof Mutua leave Washington just to come and tell us sense here at home? Why must he aspire for a leadership position to be allowed to air views of many muted voices? Does Mr Atwoli appreciate freedom of expression in any way?
MPs’ jobs are not permanent. They continue working subject to re-election. I doubt whether they get contract letters of employment that bind them to their employers — the electorate. I also know that if constituents are tired of their MP, they can actually collect signatures and remove him.
The labour laws refer to people with employment contracts on permanent and pensionable terms. These category of people must never have their salaries chopped.
MPs’ position is vacant every five years and before the next Parliament comes into effect, the employer, Kenyans, can adjust the position’s salary through the SRC. They then have an option to take it or leave it and not come in and threaten Mrs Serem!
I wish President Uhuru would send them home so we go for elections to see how many would come back. They asked for the position and a high salary was not a pre-condition.
If I joined an organisation on a position left behind by a previous holder, I cannot demand the salary he or she was earning. If in my previous job I was earning so much, I cannot demand “as a minimum” what I was earning.
Cotu is under threat from other unions coming up. Perhaps Mr Atwoli needs MPs’ support for legislation that bars competition.
Raided cash box
Atwoli, listen: we are not reducing our MPs’ salaries. How could we, when we’ve only just employed them?
Even those old MPs who survived are getting a new “take it or leave it” contract.
Secondly, MPs’ pay was not agreed upon between them and us.
The “employee” raided our cash box and awarded himself a staggering unfathomable amount, and so belong in jail. And you dare froth at the mouth in defending them? I think you have a hidden agenda.

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