, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 15 – Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs) have agreed to reconvene their sittings next week having reached an agreement with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
The County National Governing Council which reached the agreement with the SRC is however separate from the Speakers Forum that has been representing the MCAs in the dispute until now.
The MCAs agreed to return to work after SRC gave in to their demands for a car loan, mortgage, mileage allowance, increased sitting allowances and the promise of a salary raise.
“Indeed the review never goes downwards. I want to imagine on the basis of the responsibilities that we’ve shared which we as SRC appreciated that it’s truly beyond what we had seen in the documentation that we read when we were doing the documentation,” SRC Chairperson Sarah Serem explained.
The MCAs will now be able to access a car loan of Sh2 million at an interest rate of three percent to be repaid within their term in office.
“We will now not have to suffer the peculiar embarrassment of walking or using motorbikes when Members of Parliament drive off in their cars,” Joseph Makilap, the Majority Leader in the Baringo County Assembly, stated.
The MCAs will now also be able to access a Sh3 million mortgage and their mileage allowance increased from Sh20,000 to Sh39,528 with a provision for every extra kilometre travelled.
“Sh109.8 is the mileage allowance rate for a vehicle of cc rating 2,000cc to 3,000cc and this takes cognisance of 52 weeks in a calendar year and caters for fuel and car maintenance,” the memorandum reads.
The MCA sitting allowance was pumped by 30 percent to Sh6,500 for the committee chairman per sitting, Sh5,200 for the vice-chair and Sh3,900 for the members for a maximum of eight sittings a week.
And while their responsibility allowance remains at Sh32,000, the scope of those eligible for it was broadened.
“Right from the vice-chairman of a committee to the chairman to the deputy leaders to the leaders to the deputy speaker up to the speaker,” Makilap stated.
As for the salary increment, Serem said they are waiting on input from Price Water House Coopers on which grade the MCAs should fall under.
The MCAs have however held that they will not take less than Sh275,000 and have given the SRC a week to table a figure.
“Ward area for a Member of County assembly is three times bigger than that one of a Councillor and they used to earn between Sh75,000 and Sh135,000 per month,” Makilop reasoned.
The agreement has however raised several questions such as who speaks for the MCAs and with the SRC admitting that they did not carry out a salary review per se, if the commission is up to the task of containing the wage bill.