Atwoli defends MPs’ pay rise calls; blames Kenyans for seeking financial favours

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has supported calls from MPs for a pay rise, even after it was revealed that MPs pocketed nearly Kshs 1 billion in allowances, comprising Kshs 250,000 monthly allowances for members of the Two houses, the National Assembly and the Senate. Speaking to the press, Atwoli said Kenyans are to blame because they depend on MPs for financial favours after their elections, “Once a member of parliament lands in his rural constituency if he doesn’t have Kshs 200,000 or Khs 300,000 he is in trouble,” he said.

He said that behaviour pushes elected leaders to do unwanted business because they want to get money to please the electorate, “There is no way we can eradicate corruption if we ourselves the government we don’t behave well.” He said elected leaders are measured by how much they give in functions like funerals, making it seem as though it’s a must they should donate money. “These are the things that push people to steal from public coffers in order to become Presidents,” he noted.

The COTU boss said some leaders have been forced to take sides in the political field as a result “Those who you see clamouring for some individuals is because of handouts. You are forced to support somebody not because he has good policies or his political position is the best for our country.” He urged Kenyans to stop demanding handouts and be the first line of fighting corruption.