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Get real, President Kenyatta tells new MPs on salary demand

The President said the MPs, who won seats in the August 8 elections, should drop their threat to amend the decision by the Salaries and Remunerations Commission/PSCU

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked newly elected Members of Parliament to drop their threat to pass a law to award themselves higher salaries.

The President said the MPs, who won seats in the August 8 elections, should drop their threat to amend the decision by the Salaries and Remunerations Commission which slashed salaries of public officers in order to bring equity in the public sector.

The SRC slashed the salaries to reduce the burden on Kenyan tax payers, a move that gained instant support from President Kenyatta.

Speaking at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Karen, President Kenyatta said it was shameful that the MPs were showing greed even before they are sworn in.

“Be careful because that is the reason why many MPs lost their seats in the election,” said the President as he warned the MPs that they will be acting in futility if they passed any law to amend the decision of the SRC.

“I swear I shall not sign that law. We should understand that we are called to serve the people, not to earn from them,” said the President.

He said MPs should respect themselves if they want to continue being called honourable. “I am greatly disturbed by the statements from individuals who claim that they should be paid more than what the law provides even before they have been sworn in,” said the President.

He also challenge Opposition leader Raila Odinga to publicly declare his rejection of the demand by MPs for bigger salaries.

The President spoke when he addressed a Catholic Schools Principals Conference where he also issued a directive for strong measures to ensure money meant for free education is safeguarded.

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He said plans for free secondary education are underway and Sh6 billion has already been disbursed to schools which will be used to expand infrastructure to accommodate more students.

President Kenyatta asked Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to work closely with law enforcement agencies to deal firmly with any individual found misusing money meant for the program.

“Stern action should be taken against any education official found misappropriating funds meant for education,” said the President.

The President also urged the Education Ministry to strengthen the quality assurance mechanism in the education sector.

“Strong quality assurance mechanism should be in place to ensure that teachers are in class and children are learning. We cannot have a teacher spending most of the time looking after his matatu business and kiosk instead of teaching,” said the President

The President thanked the Catholic Church and other religious organizations that have played a big role in Kenya’s education sector.

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