Presidential debate Kenya - The low wages in Kenya, against the background of rising cost of living, received tremendous attention at a televised presidential debate on the economy late Monday.
“We need to have a dialogue with unions, employers and government talking about this so that we know what the cost of living in the country is today and what it should be. That is what should determine what should be the living wage,' Raila Odinga, running on a Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) ticket, said.
Kenyans will vote 4 March to elect the president, MPs, senators and governors, among others.
The eight candidates who featured in the debate included Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, Musalia Mudavadi, Martha Karua and Abduba Dida.
Mudavadi said his party would review the minimum wage, which currently stands at US$100, to make it sustainable. He did not provide specifics.
'The minimum wage is an amount that should give Kenyans a decent life,' said Paul Muite of the Safina Party.
Dida said it was unfair for some workers to earn Ksh8,000 (US$90) while others in government earned Ksh500,000 (US5,600) a month on entertainment allowances.
Kiyiapi said the minimum wage was a factor of the economy and other factors, adding: 'We should focus on the structuring of the labour market in Kenya.'
Odinga called for talks with unions, employers and the government on the minimum wage for it to be increased to enable Kenyans afford a decent standard of living.
“That is why we are talking about jobs, jobs, jobs. We want to create a working economy which will help us to create wealth and move our economy from a third world economy to a first world economy,' Odinga said.