Protests in Nairobi over MPs' pay

Kenyans protest against MPs demand for a pay raise outside the National Assembly in Nairobi May 14, 2013 ANTHONY OMUYA.

Civil Society activists have held a demonstration to protest MPs demand for a salary increase.

The 'occupy Parliament' protestors blocked the main entrance of the National Assembly waving placards condemning MPs greed. They also let loose pigs outside Parliament's gate.

Some MPs made their way to Parliament but refused to address the crowd.

Police, who had kept vigil during the demonstration, fired teargas at the protestors.

The demonstration comes a day after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) ruled out a pay increase for MPs.

On Monday, the SRC said it would neither be cowed nor intimidated by the lawmakers’ threats to sack its commissioners if their pay is not reviewed upwards.

“The threats and intimidation will not stop us from undertaking our mandate. We shall fulfil our mandate as is required by the law,” said SRC chairman Sarah Serem in Nairobi.

“We don’t know which body has the legal mandate to send us home. This, however, is not our concern. Our main worry is how to improve the country’s economy and issue of sustainability of the wage bill.”

MPs had two weeks ago attempted to arm-twist the commission to have them increase their perks.

This was after Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi tabled a petition before the House to have the commissioners removed if they did not yield to their demands.

The MPs want the Sh850,000 pay for the 10th Parliament reinstated because, they claim, the Sh532,000 set by the commission is too little.