, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22 – Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has dismissed a motion filed by ODM Secretary General, Ababu Namwamba, proposing a 50 percent pay cut for all senior State officers.
Muturi says Namwamba’s pay cut motion is populist, unrealistic, poorly thought out and only meant to excite teachers. The bill is targeting the Cabinet, the County governments, Constitutional commissions, as well as CEOs and directors of parastatals.
The Budalangi MP also wants sitting allowances paid to the public officers abolished, while all mileage claims and travelling allowances be reviewed downwards.
“This is a motion for people to come and talk for two hours and then go home and relax,” Muturi reacted on Tuesday.
“It is poorly thought out meant to excite a few individuals,” he retorted.
He said he has received the motion and marked it as priority because of the enormity of the issue it was addressing saying when the House Business committee meets on Tuesday next week it will place it top of the agenda of the House as it resumes from recess.
“The motion was filed with me yesterday and I approved it after looking at it,” he said.
He said the specific proposals seeking the reduction of numbers of members of Parliament and county assemblies were more complex as they would warrant a referendum – another tedious process.
“If you want to do referendum the procedure is clearly outlined…it cannot be done through this kind of motion,” he posed.
Asked whether he would be willing to take a pay cut, Muturi was categorical that his salary was not self determined as it was governed by the law.
He said whether or not he was willing to take a pay cut was not a matter of discussion as the more contentious issue was reducing the burgeoning wage bill.
“I don’t participate in antics of populism; I don’t have any say on what I earn. It is determined constitutionally by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC),” he stated.
On the proposal by Namwamba that the deductions begin this month, Muturi said this was not possible as the law did not provide for where the deducted monies would be put in.
“Even if we were to deduct the salaries where would we put it, we have to put it in a suspense account. You cannot just run around in the media or the village and say you want your salary deducted,” he stated.
He urged those supporting the proposal to follow the procedure of donating by writing to the Parliamentary Service Commission stating how much they were donating and to whom and not make statements meant to further their political ambitions.
“Let us follow the process, Parliament is a place of procedure and rules,” he added.
He noted with concern the calls by teachers demanding a pay increase saying this was not tenable as the economy could not sustain the repercussions of the increment.
“Philanthropy will not help, even if we were to deduct –look at the economic situation of the country and what would be sustainable for the country,” he further pointed out.
He said the ambitious proposals by Namwamba were not tenable.