winnie odingaOn Friday, we published excerpts from Winnie Odinga. She had penned a very serious piece on how Kenya’s middle class perceive the low class who take to the street every time they are told to.

The story however shifted to her lack of understanding of Kenya’s economic reality, when she said that the middle class paying house girls less than Sh50,000 a month are responsible for creating slums.

Winnie was castigated thoroughly on Twitter and rightly so.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics classifies anyone spending between Sh23,000 and Sh199,000 a month as middle class. Anyone above that belongs to the upper class, and less than 5% of the population are in that category. Spend Sh500,000 and above and you are probably in the 1%.

Every country is different on their middle class income. According to estimates, the average middle class household in the US makes about Sh10 million a year. That translates to less than Sh1 million a month. A household generally has 2 working persons, so the average salary for a person considered to be in the middle class in the US is between Sh400,000 and Sh500,000 a month.

Winnie Odinga was probably using the US estimates when telling us to pay our house girls Sh50,000 a month.

But perhaps she should have addressed the upper class.

Or maybe we need to re-define the middle class here in Kenya.

What do you think?