According to the BBC, MPs in Kenya have awarded themselves a $107,000 (£65,000) retirement bonus before a general election in March. Should the president sign the bill, the package will also provide them with an armed guard, a diplomatic passport and access to airport VIP lounges.
It is the second time the MPs have voted for “a golden handshake” – President Mwai Kibaki vetoed an attempt last year after widespread protests.
The MPs are among the highest paid in Africa, earning $13,000 a month. This is the case when the average yearly salary in Kenya is about $1,700.
The latest vote was passed on Wednesday with fewer than 30 MPs in the chamber. The chamber itself has been refurbished at a cost of $12m last year – according to parliamentary transcripts released on Thursday.
The retirement package is the same as that approved in October, but this time the MPs have also recommended bonuses for the president – almost $300,000 in cash and allowances – the vice-president and the prime minister.
Mr Kibaki said it was “untenable in the prevailing economic circumstances in the country” when he vetoed the bill.
This is unprecedented as it happens when Kenyan parliament repeatedly dismissed the wage demands of striking public sector workers, arguing that the funds were not available.
The good news is that Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki has rejected an attempt by MPs to award themselves a bonus of more than $105,000 (£65,660) each.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Kibaki’s office rejected the bid, saying he “objected to the amendment on the grounds that it was first unconstitutional, and secondly untenable in the prevailing economic circumstances in the country”.
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