Thursday, December 13, 2007

Who is underpaid again?

(A guest post by Naomi)

This is a product of Kiganjo. He’s a trained, certified and armed Kenyan policeman. He is the guy who protects you and will sprint to your rescue should you come across some bad guys and call for help. He should also be agile enough to squeeze himself through nooks and crannies for his own safety in case of shootouts which have become all too common in modern Kenya. Weight gain and weight loss is a matter of personal choice but for occupations such as his, I think there should be a ceiling on how much weight they can carry around. If such a rule actually came about it would be implemented by………..the police maybe? Ministry of labour? Defence?

It’s common knowledge that this guy is seriously underpaid. At least officially. Let’s analyze his pay. Lets assume he has a gross salary of Kshs.15,000/-. After Sacco deductions, loans, PAYE, NHIF, NSSF etc etc, he ends up with a Net pay of Kshs.4,000/-

He could be anywhere around 50 years of age. So he most likely has several mouths to feed. Say a wife and 3 children, a concubine here and another one there. Food and expenses for his family at the barest possible minimum could take up all of his Kshs.4,000/- net salary. If by some good luck his wife is working, then her income can cater for the children’s school fees and the occasional visit to the neighborhood clinic in case of illness in the family. We have said nothing of the extended family or the ailing old man back home.

But the policeman we see here is not living on bare minimums. To acquire a belly that size, the guy eats stuffs himself with three square meals per day and a snack every other hour or so. From the look of things he eats some roast meat and guzzles many liters of beer on most if not all evenings, none of which come cheap. I can bet my little finger he does not spend his evenings drinking cheap traditional liquor. That right there is a serious beer belly. Considering the price of Kenyan beer, he must be spending a minimum average of Kshs.1,000/- every single day. Probably more. And yet he takes home 3K per month? Only in Kenya.


Anonymous said...

u mean to say that tax and statutory deductions take 2/3rds of hes pay ?
i mean why work - please confirm

HLumiti said...

Anonymous, not quite so.

Sacco deposits and loan repayments easily do that. The sacco rules only require that after all deductions one's net pay is no less than 1/3 of their salary. Most saccos offer three types of loans that can be taken simultaneously - development loan, emergency loan, school fees loan. It is common for civil servants to have at least two of these at any one time.

Say our man takes a Ksh 200,000 dev. loan, repayable period 36 months: Ksh 5550.00 monthly deduction. Emergency loan of Ksh 20,000 repayable in 12 months: Ksh 1670.00 monthly deduction. Sacco deposits, Ksh 2000.00. Plus interest on the loans...

Why work? Its a vicious cycle.

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