NAIROBI — Hours after Kenya’s prime minister was discharged from the hospital yesterday after a brain procedure, the leader denounced a move by lawmakers to approve a $175,000 annual pay package for themselves.
Lawmakers voted last week to adopt the recommendation of a pay committee to increase their salary and allowances and pay tax on their income for the first time.
With the new taxes in place, the proposed increase in members’ take-home pay would be less, about $1,500 a month. But the media and public have been scathing in their condemnation of the move, which has not yet been fully enacted.
“I am totally against the idea of MPs [members of parliament] adding salaries to themselves arbitrarily,’’ Prime Minister Raila Odinga told journalists during his first news conference since being hospitalized last Monday. “It is unfair. It is sending very wrong signals to the people of this country, at a time when the economy of this country is going through very great strains.’’
Odinga spoke just hours after he was discharged from the hospital, where he had spent six days recuperating after doctors drilled a hole in his head to drain fluids that were putting pressure on his brain. The prime minister was admitted to the hospital last Monday after persistent headaches that day.
He said doctors have instructed him not to resume his full duties for up to two weeks.