Trade unionist Francis Atwoli says Kenyans are to blame for MPs’ push for higher salaries.
According to the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General, Kenyans have a bad habit of asking for handouts from their leaders. This, he said, has pushed legislators to demand better pay and even engage in corruption.
Addressing a presser on Monday, Atwoli supported the proposal to increase MPs’ salaries.
“Kenyans might think that I am crazy, but I am supporting MPs to demand more from you taxpayers due to your behaviour,” he said.
Adding, “If you elect me and you expect hand-outs from me, then I expect you to pay me well.”
The outspoken Atwoli continued, “If today an MP comes to your constituency to attend a funeral and he donates Ksh.3,000 or Ksh.5,000, you will hear people murmuring as if it is a must that he donates. These are some of the things that push people to steal from public coffers in order to become presidents.”
The COTU boss called for a culture change among Kenyans, urging them to engage in self-sustaining activities such as farming instead of depending on their leaders.
“Unless Kenyans change their culture of converting honorable MPs into their private banks, then they are justified in their quest to demand more allowances.
“Kenya, God gave us good climatic condition; we can do other things. We can go to that small acreage of our land, produce potatoes and sell on the market and get something small… other than turning our MPs into medical insurance,” he stated.
“We have turned our MPs into pension schemes; we have turned our MPs into saccos; we have turned our MPs into banks; we have turned our MPs into school fees and everything.”
Atwoli told Kenyans to help in the fight against corruption by letting the legislatures do their work rather than following them around.