NAIROBI, KENYA: A move by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to slash the pay for MPs and other top officials has elicited sharp reactions.
Members of the National Assembly are the biggest losers in new salary cuts intended to save taxpayers Sh9 billion annually.
According to SRC Chairperson Sarah Serem, the group will also lose their car grant, with special parliamentary allowance, reimbursable mileage allowance, sitting allowance for plenary sessions and special responsibility allowances, being abolished.
Speaking to The Standard, MPs Robert Pukose (Endebess) and John Waluke(Sirisia) faulted the SRC boss move, and pointed out that the salary and allowances cut will complicate the work of legislators.
“I think she (Serem) does not understand the work of MPs. When you abolish things like sitting allowances then there will definitely be quorum hitches, which will affect the house business,” said Dr Pukose.
He explained that the decision to deny MPs car grant will force the state to provide the lawmakers with government vehicles, just like other senior state officials, which he noted will be expensive in the long run.
Waluke accused Ms Serem of being malicious. He said this was the second time the SRC chairperson was targeting MPs and Senators.
“Serem definitely has issue with MPs, considering that this is the second time she is reviewing our salaries. It’s unconstitutional to review salary downwards, it doesn’t happen anywhere in the world,” explained Mr Waluke.
But Ababu Namwamba (Budalangí ) differed with his colleagues and lauded SRC for taking the bold step.
“The measures announced by SRC are a giant step towards achieving the dream of equity and sustainability in the public wage structure. I particularly applaud the proposal to lower the basic pay across the board and to scrap sitting allowances for all State Officers including MPs,”said Ababu.
The Labour Party leader challenged all candidates seeking various elective positions in the August 8 general elections, from President to MCA, to publicly declare support for the measures announced by SRC.
“They should commit to abide by the SRC guidelines upon election. These measures must not be mutilated or diluted by any selfish or self-serving amendments,” he proposed.