- Posted October 25, 2013 by
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Unlike greedy Kenyan politicians, Switzerland whacks executives' salaries and bonuses
As the Placenta Party of Kenya supporters' drive to rein in executive pay was thrashed by the government of impunity, their Swiss counterparts stepped up their campaign on Thursday to slash the fat wallets of the executives after polls put them neck and neck with opponents a month before a referendum. As a party leader, enough is enough of this open day light robbery of public coffers in the name of Constitution Amendments.
One of the major reasons I fled into exile was because of threats made against my life for exposing the toxic greed of Kenyan politicians. The Kenyan government is a top-class extra-judicial murderer. Killings by the police are systematic, widespread and carefully planned. They are committed at will and with utter impunity especially against anyone who dares to question the source of the leadership's enormous wealth or obsessiveness with corruption and power. I am one of the victims who campaigned towards the last elections. This not only brought me lawsuit after lawsuit, but also saw my home demolished and my life destroyed. The police will kill for personal reasons, for extortion or for ransom. Often they kill in the name of crime control, but in circumstances where they could readily make an arrest. 89% of arrests in Kenya are on retaliatory grounds. For instance, after a disagreement at my party headquarters, an assistant commissioner of police stopped my convoy on my way home, and ordered me to handcuff himself. When I asked why I was being arrested, I was gang sodomised by his officers in civilian uniform. I was then dumped in a forest for dead. They branded me a foreigner and when I showed them my national citizenship cards, they tore them and charged me with holding Kenyan citizenship illegally.
Just yesterday, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo ordered arrests of those journalists who exposed the looting at the Westgate Mall by Kenya Defense Forces which went viral worldwide. It proved that authorities cannot entertain anyone exposing their greedy and thieving activities. You can view the footage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cjf17x37t0 The journalists who exposed the looting are now in custody at unknown locations. IG Kimaiyo ordered that they be arrested for exposing the evidence. http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000096092&story_title=kimaiyo-namu-and-ali-wanted
The US has called for the release of the journalists citing suppression of expression freedom. http://www.nation.co.ke/news/US-defends-Kenyan-journalists/-/1056/2046498/-/raeush/-/index.html
Thomas Minder who is a businessman-turned-politician behind the Swiss anti-corporate greed campaign is my type of politician. He has presented proposals aimed at ending a culture of short-termism and rewards for managers of badly-run companies. It is true that intense corporate lobbying has backfired not only in Switzerland or in the US, but in Kenya too.
This is a clear sign of the distance between the people and the political and business establishment as Mindler puts it. I wish Kenyan voters could witness this campaign and come back to their senses. They should ignore those little kilos of sugar and dry slices of bread dished out during campaigns and instead focus on Kenya. This would give them back what these greedy MPigs have grabbed for decades.
Unlike Switzerland, Kenya is a cloned oasis with imaginary cold water wells that don't exist and yet greedy corporates and executives tend to pretend that they do exist. What do I mean? Kenyan legislators have been ranked the second-highest paid lawmakers in the world, beating their counterparts from the developed economies of US, Britain and Japan. Yet they are still asking for pay rises.
A study by the UK-based Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that MPs’ basic pay, which excludes allowances, is 76 times Kenya’s GDP per capita of Sh84,624.
The politicians earn a basic salary of Sh6.39 million per year but Kenya’s per capita income is much lower than that of rich countries, translating into comparatively high pay for the MPs.
The high pay has tended to distort Kenya’s public sector remuneration where the minimum wage for skilled labourers such as gardeners, messengers and watchmen is pegged at US$ 95 monthly. The report shows that four out of five of the highest paid MPs in the world are African, with the top five from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Indonesia and South Africa. British MPs earn Sh9.1 million while their American colleagues receive Sh15.1 million in basic pay annually; which is 2.7 and 3.7 times of GDP per person respectively. Kenyan lawmakers are also entitled to a weekly mileage of Sh109 per kilometre for up to 750 kilometres per week.
The Swiss citizens have sent a strong signal to boards, the Federal Council (Swiss government) and the parliament by reducing their packages and bonuses. They have set limits to the mandate of board members to one year, and banned certain kinds of compensation, including the so-called golden handshakes or golden parachutes given to executives when they leave a company. In addition, it bans the bonuses received for takeovers, or when a company sells off part of its business.
While Switzerland has avoided the level of economic crisis seen in the European Union, public anger has risen there as elsewhere over what is deemed abusive levels of pay and bonuses for top bosses. The Swiss government and the Council of States parliamentary chamber has come out against the initiative, cautioning that some large companies might decide to move their headquarters out of the country.
The Swiss government has drawn up a less far-reaching counter-initiative which will be reviewed by parliament, and any time now can be passed into law - this usually takes more than a year but it may end up being passed faster than that . However, if the new "softer" proposed law fails to win a parliamentary majority, the counter-proposal by Minder would become law directly.
Swiss voters back a ban on golden handshakes in the business world, the left-wing campaigners behind the "1:12" initiative are working round the clock ahead of the November 24th plebiscite. The 1:12 label refers to the ratio between the lowest and highest salaries in companies, which the referendum spearheaded by the youth wing of the Swiss Socialist Party would lay down in the law.
To hammer home their message, the campaigners have opted for guerrilla marketing tactics in Switzerland's financial hub Zurich, projecting images onto the building of banking giant UBS. The 1:12 proposal is opposed fiercely by the Swiss business world and the right and centre of the political spectrum, and had been expected to fall flat. But a poll commissioned by Switzerland's public broadcaster SSR, released at the end of last week, showed supporters and opponents on 44 percent each. Referendums are the cornerstone of Switzerland's system of direct democracy, and are held several times a year. This is how they've dictated their thoughts and terms in regards to immigration, asylum seeking, sex life and wealth distribution.
Most Swiss cast their ballots by post, and their voting papers are scheduled to be sent out next week, along with campaign material from the opposing camps. With voters therefore weighing up their choices, there's a planned massive rally in Zurich on November 2nd.
The Swiss are not alone in this domain of frustration over excessive executive pay. Kenya where I come from is ruled by fat MPigs (a word originating from the combination of MPs and Pigs for obvious reasons). As a presidential candidate in the next election in Kenya, I will campaign on the same grounds, seeking radical changes to executive remuneration to a level that better reflects our position as a developing nation. I will ask voters to send these greedy pigs home because Kenyans are now done with them. Let's go Kenyans, Operation Melt MPigs Fat!
President Director-General of the PlaCenta Party of Kenya