Raila Odinga, Kenya’s PM, seized the moral high ground after losing Kenya’s fractious elections, possibly due to rigging.
Gregg Zachary, one of the best journalists reporting on African matters, points us to a sadly unsurprising story:
One of my favorite African newspapers, the feisty Nairobi Star, has a fair and balanced story today about the decision by reform prime minister Odinga to put his very own wife on a government salary of more than $6,000 U.S. dollars a month. That’s probably enough money for to run a school for a month.
I know democracy in Africa has its costs, and that even countries with lots of poor people still must have appropriately-compensated government officials, but Odinga is a self-professed reformer and the leader of a movement to widen democracy in Kenya, one of the region’s most important countries. Putting his wife on the government payroll sends a bad message. He should “fire” her immediately — for the sake of his reputation.
The BBC pointed out, wisely, that perhaps Odinga’s own salary as PM should cover his wife’s costs in addition to his own.