, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has said they are still in negotiations with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) over a proposal to increase salaries for Members of Parliament.
Muturi on Wednesday said talks were ongoing to see if the salaries should be maintained or increased as per the legislators’ demands.
“In all fairness we should allow any negotiations that are happening go on and results will be made public at the appropriate time,” Muturi stated.
Some newly elected MPs have accused the remuneration commission of setting a salary regime that would put them in a compromising position by making them miserable.
The MPs said reducing their salaries to “as little as” Sh532,500 was unfair given their job description and that of other constitutional office holders, whose perks remained high.
The commission reduced the pay of MPs from Sh851,000 to Sh532,500.
The aggrieved legislators have threatened to disband the SRC and give its functions to another organ. (Such a move, however, would not be easy as the SRC is anchored in the Constitution and its removal would require a constitutional amendment).
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has however said the legislators would have to get a good excuse rather than pay cuts, to remove the commission.
In justifying the pay cut, the commission argued that Kenya’s public sector wage bill has almost doubled from Sh241 billion in 2008 to Sh458 billion in 2012.
Muturi was speaking at Parliament buildings when he formally took over as Chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission, a position previously held by his predecessor Kenneth Marende.
The Parliamentary Service Commission is an independent government commission established under the Constitution to ensure smooth functioning of the National Assembly.
“You were invited for the swearing-in because it was important that when people see us making statements and signing documents they will know we are doing that having been sworn in and assumed office,” Muturi said.