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Kenyan MCAs complain of little salaries

Kenyan Members of County Assembly (MCAs) on Friday, April 14, 2023, issued a statement complaining about their Sh 144,375 monthly salaries, saying it was too little compared to governors, Members of Parliament, Senators and the President.

In their statement, the MCAs demanded recognition and equity in work conditions and matching salaries to boot as they condemned the hefty salaries their political peers earned.

“While the role of MCAs is passing laws, being the voice of the voiceless through representation, over and sighting executive leaders of the counties, their work is often undervalued, underappreciated and underfunded,” read the statement.

The statement went on to point out that in comparison to their Sh 144,000, Speakers of County Assemblies earned Sh 525, 522 and their deputies earned Sh 216, 563. They attributed their lower pay to lack of proper representation of their interests amid the increasing cost of living. The MCAs also lamented about being unable to oversight governors who earned millions in salaries while they earned less than what County directors earn.

“The ward representatives are not entitled to a pension even after serving two terms in office. This is unacceptable and perpetuates inequality in the treatment of elected officials in Kenya. MCAs offices are underfunded, they have neither ward funds nor affirmative funds for nominated members. This hinders their ability to carry out their duties effectively and serve their constituents,” the statement went on.

The MCAs further stated that they were given Sh 109,000 quarterly ward imprest to pay office rent and their three staff members but this was inadequate. The MCAs further demanded for the formation of a County Assemblies Service Commission to evaluate their issues, including the slashing of salaries, despite there being a County Assemblies Forum (CAF) in existence. CAF is meant to represent MCAs and county assembly clerks but the MCAs claimed it had been turned into an exclusive club for the Speakers of the National Assemblies in Kenya and no meaningful achievement could be attributed to it in the last 8 years of its existence.

Compared to their Sh 144,000 salary, the President earns Sh 1.4 million, Deputy President earns Sh 1.2 million, Cabinet Secretaries and other members of the Executive earn Sh 924,000, Speaker of the National Assembly earns Sh 1.1 million, Members of Parliament earn Sh 710,000 and Governors earn Sh 924,000 a month. These figures place Kenya politicians among the highest paid politicians in the world.

Members of County Assembly are tasked with three major roles- Legistlation, Representation and Oversight. They are expected to vet and approve nominees for county appointments, approve budget and expenditure of the county government, approve county development plans and perform any other role as set out in the Constitution.

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