John Mbadi, the National Assembly Minority Leader has advised Members of Parliament against taking salary cuts amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Mbadi, giving donations would make a bigger impact to the country as compared to taking voluntary pay cuts. Ideally, he stated that MP’s basic salary is at Sh400,000 hence a pay cut would be less effective in aiding fighting the virus.
“MP’s taking pay cuts is on a basic salary which is less than 400,000 as we speak. 10% of that, let’s say upwards of 400,000 is 40,000 and that 40,000 is usually taken as taxation so the remaining amount which one would be offering in actual sense is 28,000,” he said during an interview at Citizen TV.
Further, he added, “If I can produce half a million and buy food for my constituents that would be enough support, it’s not even a sacrifice, we are not talking about sacrifice unless you want us to do it for popularity’s sake which many people have done.
On March 25, 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that senior government officials were to take voluntary pay cuts in a bid to play the effective role of fighting COVID-19 in the country.
The President and his deputy William Ruto took an 80 percent salary reduction as the head of state urged other government officials to follow suit.
“I call on the other arms of Government and tiers of Government to join us in this national endeavor, by making similar voluntary reductions; which will free-up monies to combat this pandemic,” said President Kenyatta.
As precautionary measures, the president further urged all state and government officers with pre-existing conditions or aged 50 years and above to take leave/ or work from home excluding the security sector and essential services employees per public service circular.
Following the pledge, various leaders came out and made huge donations in support of the fight against COVID-19, with some being accused of using the pandemic to serve their personal political interests.
For instance, some have been castigated on Twitter for branding their donations including sanitizers and foodstuffs.
In Kibra, there was a commotion during the distribution of foodstuffs donated by Raila Odinga and family hence resulting to two deaths and a couple of others injured.
Addressing the issue, the Ministry of Health indicated that all donations will be done through the government and the Ministry moving forward to avoid a repeat of what happened in Kibra.
Currently, the country has 208 positive COVID-19 confirmed cases, 9 fatalities and 40 recoveries with hundreds still in isolation.