, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – President Uhuru Kenyatta had maintained his hardline stance against more pay for Members of Parliament and instead asked them to initiate dialogue with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to resolve the matter.
President Kenyatta vowed that his government will follow the pay guidelines set by the Sarah Serem-led SRC.
He insisted that the commission is mandated by law to set and review salaries of all State officers.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all State officers in the Executive will continue to abide by the determination of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission,” said the president in a statement on Wednesday.
He added that the continued paralysis occasioned by the stalemate is not in the national interest.
“It is the expectation of the people of Kenya that independent constitutional institutions including Parliament must respect the institutional arrangements and division of mandates in our Constitution.”
Members of the National Assembly on Tuesday evening made a unanimous resolution to revoke a Gazette Notice by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission that set MPs’ pay at Sh532,000 down from Sh851,000.
The MPs’ move opens a window for them to earn higher pay backdated since March 28 this year when they were sworn in.
The president said he was disturbed by the ongoing acrimonious exchanges between the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and Parliament.
The MPs personally targeted Serem and accused her of coming up with the pay structure for State officers in an arbitrary manner.
They said if the move to cut their pay was because of a ballooning wage bill, then they would go a step further “and merge or kill constitutional commissions.”
President Kenyatta acknowledged the independence of Parliament but maintained that the SRC was the only body mandated by the Constitution to set and review the salaries of all state officers
“I therefore urge Parliament to engage the Salaries and Remuneration Commission in a constructive manner with a view to resolving this matter.”
On Wednesday, Serem warned the National Assembly Clerk Justin Bundi and the Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye that they would be held responsible for “abuse of office and aiding the misuse of public funds” if they paid MPs more than was prescribed in the Gazette Notice.