NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – The County Assembly Speakers’ forum now says all that county assembly representatives are asking for is harmonization of their allowances with that of other State officers as gazetted by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
Speaking to Capital FM News ahead of a meeting with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) on Monday, secretary to the forum Albert Kochet explained that they do not have the benefits enjoyed by MPs and Senators.
Kochet who is also the Elgeyo Marakwet county speaker indicated that issues like mileage allowances and plenary sittings are common issues which have not been captured in their pay slips.
“We have not boycotted work. We are operating within Standing Order No 28 which allows us to adjourn so that we can be able to attend to other business. We have done this so that we can be able to get time to negotiate. We just want to agree since we are working on a document which SRC agrees that there might be a lot of variations,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has told off public officers including county representatives agitating for more pay and urged them to drop their demands and instead focus on national development.
Makueni county speaker Stephen Ngedu however stressed that all they are looking for is clarity on their salary structures.
“There are some issues that the members want to know. Issues like mileage allowances which are not captured there, issues like plenary sitting for the members which are traditional issues for members of the assembly,” he said.
“We are not really here to agitate for any increment of the salaries but we want that clarity so that the members can know on what terms they are operating.”
Last week, 13 county assemblies adjourned sittings, crippling county governments in what was a coordinated move to force a pay rise for county representatives.
Nairobi, Mombasa, Baringo, Kitui, Kericho, Siaya, Kakamega, Migori, Kisii, Meru, Kirinyaga and Nakuru county assemblies did not sit.
The county assembly members were demanding for a salary of Sh300,000 up from Sh79,200.
They also want Sh3 million in car allowance and other perks enjoyed by members of the National Assembly and Senators.
Transparency International Executive Director Samuel Kimeu in the meantime described it as distasteful for elected leaders to boycott work or threaten the SRC while agitating for higher pay.
Kimeu told Capital FM News said that the leaders knew what they were getting into when they decided to run for office and that their actions were tantamount to betrayal of Kenyans.
He urged them to use the right channels to air their grievances.
“If they have grievances, let them use the framework which is there. Let them make those presentations to the SRC and as they do that let them not just think of themselves. There are other State officers and by extension public officers and the SRC has the mandate to set and review their salaries,” he said.
He further appealed to them to be patient and accept the recommendations of the SRC as a constitutionally formed body.
“In essence all the salaries of all the public officers are within the purview of the SRC and within that framework we have answers and we can get answers to our problems and I think boycotting work is in bad taste… threatening constitutional bodies is in bad taste and our elected leaders should be in tune with the aspirations of Kenyans and do the right thing,” he stated.