, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2- Kenya’s ambassadorial nominee to China, Sarah Serem, has refuted claims from MPs that the review of pay for public servants during her tenure at the helm of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) was skewed against legislators.
Speaking during her approval hearing before the National Assembly’s Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, Serem said most public servants were affected by the salary cuts which were informed by the evaluation but MPs were vocal about their dissatisfaction because of their platform as politicians.
“I know MPs have looked at it as skewed, but for your information, this cut across the entire State officers. It is just others don’t have the forum to air their views like the MPs do… we had to deliberately bridge the gap between the high and the lowest earners. That meant we had to reduce from the president and everyone in between to the lowest earner,” she explained.
She said the Commission is mandated to reduce such a pay imbalance.
“Our focus as much as it very unpopular was to look at the worth of every job and apply a job evaluation, which most of us don’t want to hear. But job evaluation was the only objective way to bring the value so that we can be able to,” Serem stated.
She said after the job evaluation reduced the gap from 53 per cent to 10 per cent.
“The other major thing was the obvious disparity between the highest and lowest wages which was going way above the 100 to 1. It was indeed very immoral of us as community to have people earn in the millions while others earning even less than a military wage. For your information when SRC came we had the lowest public servant earning Sh8,000, which is not even an allowance to one of us,” she said.
Serem rejected claims that she is a lone ranger, aggressive and dictatorial saying she is known to be hospitable, diplomatic and often participates in conflict resolution in the family church and society.
“If you look at my over 30 year’s experience it has been in people management. If you ask about who is this Mrs Serem is you will find that I am a very hospitable and diplomatic person that has built a lot of long term relationship, where I used to work at PostBank they still refer to me as Mama Postbank. Even where I go to church they look at me as someone who can resolve conflicts,” she said.