NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – The Government’s decision to take a pay cut as a measure to address the high wage bill in the country is gaining momentum with a cross-section of legislators supporting the move.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto along with Cabinet Secretaries resolved to take a 20 and 10 percent pay cut respectively and urged top civil servants to have their salaries cut to reduce the high wage bill.
MPs Kanini Kega (Kieni), Mary Wambui (Othaya), Thuo Githinji (Tetu), Esther Murugi (Nyeri), Peter Weru (Mathira) and Kabando wa Kabando (Mukurwe-ini) said the gesture was aimed at ensuring that the funds would be channeled to offering services to Kenyans, especially development projects.
Speaking in Nyeri during the consecration and ordination of Rev. Paul Wanjohi and Pastor Eva Wangechi of New Life Church, presided over by Deputy President William Ruto, the MPs vowed to mobilise their colleagues to contribute in addressing the rising wage bill.
‘We appeal to all leaders to follow the leadership shown by the President and his Deputy and agree to have their salaries cut,’ said Githinji.
Other leaders present included Senate majority Leader Kithure Kindiki, Senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo/Marakwet), Charles Keter (Kericho), nominated senator Beatrice Ngatha and Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua.
The Deputy President expressed concern that high percentage of the country’s resources was being used to pay salaries for public servants, noting that a small percentage of the resources remained for development activities.
Ruto said the Government had to take hard decision to ensure the county moves forward and attains its development goals.
“If we spend 93 percent of all the resources we have on expenditure, then we have nothing to go to development and this is why we have to take hard decisions if we are to move forward,” he said.
He said there will be a consultative meeting to be held on Monday to further explore ways of reducing the rising wage bill, saying development will be elusive if almost all resources are used to pay salaries.
The Deputy President reassured Kenyans of the government’s commitment to implement programmes aimed at making the country a better home for its people.
He said the government is doing its best in its quest to address diverse problems afflicting its people, efforts which would vigorously be pursued to their logical conclusion.
Ruto urged Church organisations to lead by example and partner and network with the government and other development minded individuals and institutions to implement programmes that uplift the standards of living in the country.
“Church leaders should lead the trust in making sure this country is safe for our children and avoid doctrines going rounds in western countries and defend this country,” said the Deputy President.
The Deputy President told religious leaders to be truthful in their deeds and to lead by example, guided by teachings in the Holy Scriptures.
“Be genuine in whatever you do for the country to enable Kenyans to differentiate between Christians and other ordinary people. We have issues and challenges in our country but God will see us through,’’ he said.
He also challenged leaders to shun empty politics and prove their worth by delivering on their campaign pledges.
“As leaders we must engage in talks so that we move together as a country. It is our responsibility to serve all Kenyans without bias. It is now time for elected leaders to rise above partisan politics and serve the wananchi with all diligence,” said the Deputy President.
Ruto told leaders to stop bickering on petty issues which do not add value to the transformative agenda of the government.
“All leaders are elected by the people to serve them. We must eliminate confrontational arguments which cannot help the people,” said Ruto.
Senators Murkomen and Kindiki called on the need for leaders to respect all institutions which have been set up to ensure wananchi get services and development.
Murkomen said leaders should ensure they deliver on the promises they made to Kenyans instead of engaging in mere politicking.
Noting that development will be elusive if leaders are not united, Keter emphasised on the need for unity and teamwork for the sake of peace and development.
Governor Gachagua said governors are not opposed to audit in their respective counties but the exercise should be done in accordance with the law.