Uasin Gishu MCAs shutdown assembly in protest over salary dispute
Uasin Gishu County has joined the growing list of devolved units that have shutdown in protest over proposals by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
The ward representatives unanimously adopted a motion to adjourn house business indefinitely without deliberating the 2023/2024 budget estimates until the SRC reviews their salaries and allowances.
More than 40 MCAs majority from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) dismissed the SRC proposal to increase the salaries by Sh10,000 from the current gross salary of Sh144, 375 with a committee sitting allowance of Sh62,450 in a month as a mockery.
The ward representatives protested slashing of salaries from Sh165,000 by SRC, noting that it was interfering with their role to perform the role of oversighting the executive.
“It is challenging to play the oversight role of the executive including governor, deputy, county executives and chief officers among other officials who are earning better salaries as compared to what we are currently receiving,” said Francis Muya, Langas MCA, also leader of minority.
The Lyn Mengich chaired- SRC also abolished the sitting and mileage allowances and the Sh2milion grant it had approved in February 2021 ahead of the 2022 general elections.
Most of the MCAs also claimed that the current salaries do not match the high cost of living and to meet the daily demands from their electorate.
“MCAs are really suffering in silence. It is really tough to balance the little money we get and fundraising or medical bills and we need the SRC to factor this to cater for all these needs,” observed Gilbert Chepkonga, Ainabkoi/Olare.
Mr Julius Sang, the leader of majority in the assembly also protested the cut in salaries, noting that the SRC was working to sabotage the devolution.
“This is not about our salaries but it is about championing for devolution. We want to stand as an independent body. . . some were concerned that we must pass the first budget but we want to insist that we have no problem with the executive or budget but we have an issue with the state of devolution,” noted Mr Sang, also the Megun ward representative.
The County speaker Philip Muigei said that the adjournment and failure to deliberate on budget on Tuesday would not affect the county operations as the executive can access 50 per cent in line with the Public Finance Management(PFM) act 2019.
“The county Finance executive was to read a policy statement on budget estimates today but the executive can withdraw up to 50 percent of the projected budgetary estimate until that time when the policy statement is tabled . . .. there should be no cause of alarm,” stated Mr Muigei.
Recently, senators recently backed the MCAs in their push to have salary increments, accusing the SRC of undermining devolution.
Kenya has 2232 MCAs from 47 county assemblies where 1450 are elected while 782 are nominated.
Some of the county assemblies that have also shutdown operations to protest salaries proposed by SRC include Nakuru and Embu.