Sunday, July 21, 2024

Ruto’s ministers, lawmakers get pay rise amid bloody anti-tax hike protests

The pay rise for Mr Ruto’s cabinet members and lawmakers, which, according to local media, took effect on July 1, coincided with anti-finance bill protests in Kenya.

• July 3, 2024
Ruto and demonstrators
Ruto and demonstrators

President William Ruto’s ministers and Kenyan members of parliament got a pay rise on July 1 amid bloody anti-finance bill protests that have seen over 39 dead and hundreds injured.

The pay rise for Mr Ruto’s cabinet members and lawmakers, which, according to local media, took effect on July 1, coincided with a nationwide protest over the Finance Bill.

Each cabinet secretary who earned Ksh. 957,000 before will now earn Ksh. 990,000 in addition to their allowances, and each of the 51 principal secretaries, who earned Ksh.792,519, will now earn Ksh. 819, 844, in addition to their allowances, Citizen TV Kenya reported on Tuesday, citing Kenyan salaries and remuneration commission.

The salaries of the speakers of the National Assembly and Senate increased from Ksh. 1,185,327 to Ksh. 1,208,362, while salaries of members of parliament increased from Ksh. 725, 502 to Ksh 739, 600.

Though deliberations on salary increments for Mr Ruto’s cabinet members and lawmakers took place months ago, its implementation comes amid deadly protests against the tax hike.

The protest, which started on June 18 against the controversial finance bill proposing the imposition of tax on cars, phones, bread, sanitary pads, and other commodities, has morphed into calls for Mr Ruto’s resignation as citizens accuse his government of corruption and poor performance.

Earlier on Tuesday, youths carrying coffins in #RutoMustGo protest shut down Nairobi and other parts of the country despite Mr Ruto’s withdrawal of the bill last week Wednesday.

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reported that 39 persons have been killed as police clamp down on protesters between June 18 and July.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday night, Mr Ruto said he has no blood on his hands in a pushback against accusations that he watched police killing citizens before withdrawing the bill.

“I have no blood on my hands,” Mr Ruto said on Sunday. “Nineteen people are dead to the record that I have from security agencies. Very unfortunate. As a democracy, that should not be part of our conversation.”

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