Monday, January 26, 2009



Sunday, January 25 2009

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has worked for nine months without pay following a dispute in top government administrative circles over his salary scale, the Nation can reveal. The embarrassing situation is also being blamed on failure by MPs to give direction on the trappings of the Prime Minister’s office, which was created at the formation of the grand coalition government last year.

According to correspondence seen by the Nation, the controversy over Mr Odinga’s salary revolves around two schools of thought in government — one which recommends that his pay should be equal to that of Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, and another which proposes that the PM’s pay be pegged on the President’s.

In the meantime, Mr Odinga has for close to a year been paid as Lang’ata Member of Parliament and drawn allowances of a Cabinet minister.

A letter dated September 29, 2008 from the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr Francis Muthaura, to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Patrick Gichohi, says that the Government had decided to pay higher salaries to the Prime Minister, Vice-President and the two deputy prime ministers.

Mr Muthaura says that this was to ensure that the overall salaries for the VP, PM and deputy PMs are within the range of packages paid to some chief executives of government agencies while maintaining relativity to that of the President.

President Kibaki earns a Sh2 million basic salary a month and also draws Sh1.2 million monthly in extraneous and entertainment allowances, according to Mr Muthaura. “It is, however, to be noted that the President does not draw any remuneration from Parliament since he is a constitutional office holder while the vice-president, prime minister and the deputy prime ministers draw various allowances from Parliament,” Mr Muthaura says.

The President’s pay is drawn from the Consolidated Fund. The VP, PM and his deputies receive salaries and allowances from Parliament totalling about Sh800, 000. In addition, as ministers, they receive Sh200,000 ministerial allowance, Sh100, 000 house allowance and Sh23,400 domestic allowance.

Same letter

It is in the same letter that Mr Muthaura directs that Mr Odinga’s salary be equal to that of Mr Musyoka.

Mr Muthaura proposes that the PM’s and VP’s salary be Sh1.3 million — Sh800, 000 salary, Sh300,000 ministerial allowance and Sh200, 000 as house allowance.

He proposes that deputy prime ministers Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta get Sh950, 000 which is broken down into Sh500, 000 salary, Sh250, 000 ministerial allowance, Sh150, 000 house allowance and Sh50,000 domestic staff allowance.

Earlier, the permanent secretary in the Prime Minister’s office, Dr Mohamed Isahakia, had written to the Clerk of the National Assembly complaining that it was unfair for Mr Odinga to perform his official duties without pay. Sources said Dr Isahakia asked that the issue of the PM’s pay be discussed, determined and that his salary be paid to him urgently.

Last week, the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) met to deliberate on the issue and it was then that Mr Muthaura’s letter was produced.
Some of Mr Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) MPs in the PSC were incensed by Mr Muthaura’s proposal to equate the Prime Minister office with that of the Vice-President.

Sources said the MPs want the Prime Minister’s salary to be above that of the VP considering that he was an equal partner with President Kibaki as far as the National Accord and Reconciliation Act that created the PM’s office was concerned.

The same sentiments were expressed in Dr Isahakia’s letter to the Clerk. However, an MP who did not wish to be quoted discussing PSC matters outside the committee asked why ODM members in the PSC had not brought the matter before Parliament in order to resolve it through the ballot rather than through administrative channels.

The National Accord and Reconciliation Act, which was signed on February 28, 2008 states that the PM and his deputies shall be entitled to salaries and allowances, benefits, privileges and emoluments as may be approved by Parliament from time to time.

Mr Odinga, as the supervisor and coordinator of Government activities, chairs Cabinet sub-committees and enjoys enhanced security including several chase cars.

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However, when the PM’s position was created, his emoluments and other trappings were not discussed by Parliament.

On Sunday, Nairobi Metropolitan minister Mutula Kilonzo said the responsibility of determining the PM’s salary lay with the Parliamentary Service Commission.

Mr Kilonzo, a member of the Serena team that negotiated the peace accord following the violence after the 2007 election, said it was not their responsibility to assign a salary to the PM’s office.

However, he said a tribunal established on Thursday last week to review MPs’ salary and determine what taxes they will pay will also fix the PM’s salary.

“The coalition is a temporary measure under the Constitution and, therefore, the issue of the 50:50 representation does not hold,” he added in reference to the proposal that the PM’s salary be pegged on that of the President.

In December 2006, Parliament gave President Kibaki a hefty pay raise, which he however turned down following a public outcry. The MPs pegged the President’s salary at Sh2 million up from Sh700,000 and his personal allowances at Sh1.2 million a month, bringing the total package to Sh3.2 million.

While rejecting the pay the President, had said: “I have taken note of the decision reached and weighed its implications under the current economic conditions prevailing in the country, and do hereby turn down the offer.”

He added: “It is imperative that remuneration due to public officers be a true reflection of the economic and social times of the nation.”

Full amount

However, from Mr Muthaura’s letter, the President appears to be drawing the full amount of Sh3.2 million.

At the time, lawyers had argued that it was the constitutional mandate of Parliament to set the President’s salary and his personal wishes did not matter.

The President’s salary had been way below that of the Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Justice Aaron Ringera, who earns Sh2.5 million a month.

The salary increase was seen as correcting this anomaly. But Parliament deferred allowances for the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, leader of Official Opposition, members of Parliamentary Service Commission, the whips and deputy temporary speakers.

Allowances for the Vice-President, ministers and assistant ministers were being given as ministerial responsibility while the rest were to be approved as extraneous allowance.


Submitted by Obwakemwatugul
Posted January 26, 2009

This is where Muthaura should have acted swiftly to ensure that the PM gets his dues as soon as possible. If it is true, the detractors are still pursuing their political games. Someone must be using Muthaura to subotage the PM. I hope Kenyans some Kenyans start to act in good faith. There would be no need of more hatred being planted on Kenyans. When shall we see a new dawn in Kenyan politics.

Submitted by sammie75
Posted January 26, 2009

This are surely hefty salaries for our economy but surely only deserved if this people work towards makig our welfare as a nation better its neither the case so not deserved what can we do? we must demand better services and be nonesensical about what we expect from them and be abase for their future reelection and by our tribalistic regional ideas that curtails our dreams and hopes

Submitted by bobcat
Posted January 26, 2009

WOOOI,those salaries are obscene,and theres no money to pay teachers?I support the strikes.

Submitted by Jangerboy
Posted January 26, 2009

It is such a shame if indeed Mr. Odinga has not been getting his pay! Having said that, salary harmonization is not only to be done among the top classes. Take into account the most junior officer in the government and the highest paid executive. Harmonise their pay. And why not? Don't they all work for 8 hours a day for the same government? Why do some deserve allowances and overtime while others don't deserve? Let's be fair to all.

Submitted by Angela Hatier
Posted January 26, 2009

I don't feel sorry for you Mr.Oginga. There are graduates unemployed on the streets and people starving. Unemployment is no longer considered a strange term. That salary can pay a couple of graduates if positions were created

Submitted by chemengin11
Posted January 26, 2009

This nonsense how dare you pay yourself this much and yet there's an ordinary folk earning meagre 1500/= p.m you greedy selfish coalition who only think not beyond your bellies.Only God will make you pay.

Submitted by JOBWAPILI
Posted January 26, 2009

History may one day prove that Muthaura was singularly responsible for stirring unnecessary rifts in the fragile coalition. Is an office holders tribe a determinant for setting salaries? And when another occupant comes in the salaries are reviewed again? God save Kenya from tribalism. This is what President Obama refers to as shackling by narrow ethnic considerations. Common sense and NARA interpretation has the PM sharing executive power with the President, and the PM must definitely earn more than the Vice President. Muthaura this is shamefully sickening and I hope you will one day be held to account.

Submitted by gathoni
Posted January 26, 2009

Should this be true, then it is sad, not mentioning unfair. Hopefully the govt. does something about this.

Submitted by OkhwaBarasa
Posted January 26, 2009

Sorry for Hon. Raila! All the same with the already trappings of power and chase cars at hand, the man couldn't raise hell. However, please let the Muthauras bear in mind that our pupils are not in school, teachers just need, as Majali puts it, 'a small token', please give them for our schools to operate.

Submitted by oretabt
Posted January 25, 2009

The act of a true leader....working without I know Raila is not in this for the money.....

Submitted by irenematt
Posted January 25, 2009

Somehow I doubt he's going hungry as a result of this. More of a story would be has he even noticed......

Submitted by eckenroed
Posted January 25, 2009

This is more than President Obama earns..Shame on Kenya for big Gov. payouts to Cronies. Most of the country is starving and MP's and such are getting rich on their starved bodies.

Submitted by comprah
Posted January 25, 2009

Aaron Ringera's salary can pay 100 fresh graduate teachers while that of the president can pay 128 such teachers. If the government was serious about reducing the gap between the rich and the poor, such disparities in salaries would not be seen. These extremely high figures, assigned to one individual come at a time when teachers are on strike, shame!! The teacher is denied a better pay but forced ti sign performance contract. Surely we are in Egypt. Lord hear our cry.

Submitted by gikkam
Posted January 25, 2009

The USA President makes about $ 400,000 a year (about kshs 32,000,000) The country's GDP is $ 14.33 trillion and Per capita is $ 48,000. Kenya's GDP is about $31.42 Billion and her Per Capita is $1,800. Why should we be paying these politicians more that the president of the richest country on earth (kshs 38,400,000 is Kibaki's Annual pay) Kenya is just a milking cow to these politicians.

Submitted by wuod_aketch
Posted January 25, 2009

I am not going to politic here but the PM's salary should be at least equal to that of Kibaki but obviously higher than that of Kalonzo. What are Kalonzo's duty and role in the government? By the way, the PM has shown that he can live without a salary, let it continue that way.

Submitted by solomon07
Posted January 25, 2009

How come the PM does not draw a salary? Is his office illegal? I only hope that that this mess will be sorted out before things go haywire and no politician will try to justify this 'revelation'!

Submitted by ngombemimi
Posted January 25, 2009

Surely,every single piece of news I read today makes me say " I cry for my beloved country, God SAVE KENYA.

Submitted by ongowang
Posted January 25, 2009

This is just embarrassing and intentional. What? In the name of Coalition? Give me a break and get real. Enough of the Coalition! The more you remain in it, the more you become part of it's mistakes and problems. Thank you.

Submitted by naliweliwalo
Posted January 25, 2009

MPs wanting the PMs salary to be higher than that of the VP are not being sincere. If they are equal, then he should receive the same remuneration as the president (sic)! They are involved in the usual 'PM is higher than VP' game! These figures are so high, I cannot believe that they want them higher! I can now see why they fight tooth and nail for these offices!