Kenyan MPs agree pay cut, get luxury cars in exchange
Nairobi: Kenyan lawmakers have backed down over a pay rise they had voted themselves, but settled for hefty bonuses including a luxury car and pension benefits instead, according to official documents seen on Wednesday.
Last month Kenyan lawmakers voted themselves a pay rise, overturning cuts ordered by the national salaries commission and reinstating their paychecks, among the highest legislative salaries in the world.
They voted to ignore the commission's orders -- and defied pleas from President Uhuru Kenyatta -- to boost their monthly pay back to 851,000 shillings (USD 10,000, EUR 7,500).
Activists have staged dramatic protests outside Parliament demanding that lawmakers cut their pay, including one demonstration in which they released live pigs and wallowed in animal blood.
On Tuesday, demonstrators danced with a giant papier-mache pig and waved fake banknotes and placards with the slogan "MPigs".
But the Salaries and Remuneration Commission has said after "fruitful and productive" talks, lawmakers have since agreed to obey orders for a salary cut of almost 40 percent to around 532,000 shillings (USD 6,200, EUR 4,600).
Lawmakers agreed on the deal after negotiating a five million shilling (USD 58,000, EUR 44,000) one-off grant for a car.
The grant was deemed a "more viable option" than providing chauffeur-driven vehicles for all 416 MPs, the commission said. Many lawmakers currently avail themselves of government chauffeurs.