A Family of Pigs, A Private Jet & A cartoon.

Never before has a cartoon caused quite an uproar or such debate as the one published in the Daily Nation sometime last week, the artist,Gado one of the country’s best-in my opinion drew the Deputy Prime Minister laid out on the chairs of the plane having his back massaged by some females who were said to be MP’s that accompanied him on a trip around the continent.  A jet that cost the country anywhere from 100million shillings to a low- I use the word loosely- 18.5million- well it is lower than 100M!
Before this expensive revelation was made and sent the country buzzing, tweeting and facebook-ing like mad there was another cause for concern and loud but peaceful protests through the streets of the capital city, a family of pigs in tow.

Our MP’s have long since earned themselves the very unflattering nick name ‘MPigs’- hence the pigs. They fast earned the name and hashtag because of their seemingly insatiable greed! These honourable men and women are always all too quick to augment their salaries every so often. This time the daring parliamentarians have jumped on the band wagon at the earliest time. Having barely begun the work they have been appointed to do their salaries are displeasing them.

I have to admit that this time things are different for the normally overpaid members of the August House because this time around they not only have to contend with a seemingly tough and rigid-at least when it comes to their pay-president but with the Salaries & Remuneration Commission: particularly their tough as nails Sarah Serem who insists that the slash in pay that MP’s receive now shall stand. Saying: “We have not been boxed into any corner. We are an independent commission and we are subject to no other direction than the direction and authority of the constitution”

This slash in pay would make any average Kenyan jump with giddy joy and anticipation; 532,000 is nothing to laugh at. Though for their predecessors in the 10th parliament this lot is practically impoverished.  But for public servants they should count themselves very lucky as unlike most teachers and teachers they don’t have to strike to eke their pay from the government, and yet they can’t help but to moan and groan from their rather comfortable perches. President Kenyatta has in breaking with his predecessors voiced his disappointment in the minsters. "Sometimes it really hurts. Instead of asking how we are going to serve our people, we are asking ourselves how we are going to get more money in our pockets. Please let us do what is important first which is serving Kenyans. When we do this, I am sure the potential that we have can improve Kenya." He said.

The greedy officials always seem to want more and in that spirit they became so incensed- at not getting what they wanted and believe they are due that they petitioned to have Serem and her team removed.  A group of Kenyans borrowed a leaf from the teachers and nurses when they took to the streets to protest the MP’s attempts to fatten their wallets. Enter the pigs and an angry mob each wearing a white t-shirt with the words #OccupyParliament  on them. The protesters barricaded the entrance of the August House the group numbering into their hundreds held parliament hostage for three hours.

Finally back to the beginning again and to the million shilling matter of the luxurious private jet leased from Vista Jet company which caused a furor all its own. The story was first broken by the Daily Nation and it detailed how the DPP had travelled in excessive style. The article showed the shocked reader that the Jet cost 100million shillings. At this juncture I felt compelled to look up and share the definition of the word Hustler- the nick name-they gave themselves- commonly used to refer to the president and his DPP.
 Hustler: noun;
1.       An enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter – this is undoubtedly the image they had in mind when they christened themselves ‘hustlers’ during the campaign period.
2.       Slang; a person who employs fraudulent or unscrupulous methods to obtain money; swindler.
3.       Informal; an expert gambler or game player who seeks out challengers, especially unsuspecting armature ones, in order to win money from them.
4.       A person who hustles.

The two somehow managed to convince Kenyans they were just like them- struggling , and that they would do the same for them but with the further twist in the tale of the invoice provided by Vista Jet which showed that the jet used to shuttle Mr Ruto to and from West and Central Africa actually cost a mind bending  Sh 25.4million that would inevitably be paid for from the overstretched pockets of mostly over worked and vastly underpaid Kenyans tax returns. This after the president declared to MP’s that there was no money to pay the salaries they wanted.  This made me wonder why the pigs were not brought back to the city for round to this time at the DPP’s offices!


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