NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Justin Muturi has advised Members of Parliament willing to have their pay voluntarily slashed to write to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
Muturi said it is only the SRC which is mandated by law to review and gazette salaries of all public and State officers.
“If anybody has issues with their salaries they should address it with the SRC headed by the gracious Sarah Serem,” he said. “Even those who are claiming out there in villages and in funerals that they have written to me, they are directing their requests to the wrong person.”
The PSC is constitutionally mandated to perform functions necessary for the well-being of the members and staff of Parliament. This includes providing services and facilities to ensure the efficient and effective functioning of Parliament.
“It is SRC which will be able to calculate and tell us whether the salary they want reduced by say 10 percent or 20 percent and then gazette it, because salaries of Honourable Members have to be gazetted by the SRC.”
Muturi, who is also the Speaker of the National Assembly, said so far no MP has written a note instructing the commission to effect a pay cut. READ Uhuru to lead talks on public wage bill
“I have not received any official communication; I have no power to stop any member from making a donation if they want to,” he continued.
“All I am saying is will need a structured way of handling this. Otherwise, we may have to look into way of establishing a suspended account where we can put these donations,” he stated.
This comes days after Senate Majority Leader Kindiki Kithure and Meru MP Kiraitu Murungi said they are willing to have their salaries deducted by 20 percent, in support of the government’s austerity measures.
The Speaker refused to be drawn into the debate where some Members of the National Assembly have called for the scrapping of the posts of the 47 County Women Representatives, 20 Nominated Senators, 12 Nominated Members of the National Assembly and 800 Nominated Members of the County Assemblies as a way to address the high wage bill.
“This is what Kenyans gave to themselves when they voted overwhelmingly for the Constitution, therefore it’s not open to me begin expressing an opinion one way or the other,” said Muturi.
MPs such as Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi who are behind the move have questioned the logic of having 416 MPs (349 National Assembly Members and 67 Senators).
Muturi said those making such proposals should wait for the task-force sanctioned by the House to conduct an audit on the August 2010 Constitution, to finalise their report.
“We want that (the audit) to be as open as possible and therefore as chair of this commission it would be unfair to express myself. I want to leave that to the task-force to do its work and then they make a report which will be released to the public,” he said.