MCAs Call for Pay Rise, want their Salaries aligned to MPs and Senators


By Shadrack Musumba

Members of County Assemblies have upped their bid to align their pay with their counterparts in the Senate and National Assembly.

In the fresh efforts, the county lawmakers hold that their salaries should be paid at 43 per cent of what governors earn “to better oversight the governor and resist bribes.”

In a bid to have their salary reviewed so they get Sh397,320, MCAs argue that MPs earn at the same rate compared with the President’s pay.

The county lawmakers presently earn Sh144,373 monthly -16 per cent of what governors are paid, which they argue is peanuts.

MPs earn a basic salary of Sh710,000 – which translates to about 49 per cent of what the President is paid monthly.

Top officials of the Kenya MCAs Forum seek to hasten engagements with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission on the quest.

Should SRC heed their demand for the alignment, the county lawmakers’ monthly wage bill will rise to about Sh795 million basic salaries alone.

Mauche Ward Representative Moses Koros told this publication they want plenary sitting allowances reinstated to improve attendance to assembly sittings and make members motivated.

Honourable Koros who hails from Nakuru County, Njoro subcounty argues that the removal of the allowance, which also applied to Parliament, would kill the business of county assemblies.

“If the plenary allowance is granted, MCAs will get Sh1.2 billion more annually totalling Sh6 billion for their five-year term. To feature in the engagement with the SRC is the Gazette Notice of July 1, 2022, setting MCAs’ pay, and the 30 per cent taxation on car grants,” MCA Koros stated.

He said that MCAs are aggrieved that the last review “downgraded the position from the end salary of Sh165,000 to Sh86,000 – before benefits.”

He further argued that the motor vehicle reimbursement is a facilitative fund and not a benefit, hence need not to be taxed.

Kayole Central MCA Jeremiah Themendu said they want their pay and that of county assembly leaders matched up with MPs to “strengthen oversight of devolution.”

“MCAs have been treated unfairly. We have not been facilitated enough to allow us to execute our mandate. We want the tax on motor vehicle reimbursement revoked and the same made an unconditional benefit,” Themendu said.

The government has held that MCAs’ job was evaluated, adding that the Sh400,000 they are asking doesn’t match the qualifications that attract that amount.

“The disadvantage is that their job doesn’t need a degree as a minimum qualification. Jobs that require a degree are valued from that basis,” the source added.

In the renewed efforts though, MCAs want the SRC to “cascade the percentage in replication of the provisions of the national Parliament”.

The lawmakers want speakers paid Sh739,200, which is 80 per cent of what governors are paid – Sh924,000.

MCAs want deputy speakers paid Sh591,360 – which is 64 per cent of county chiefs’ pay, and Sh489,720 for leaders of majority and minority parties in the county assemblies.

The lawmakers state that the demands, if met, would go a long way to strengthen devolution.

The county lawmakers hold that their job description is the same but at different levels.

County lawmakers say they feel shortchanged if their salaries are compared with other state officers.

MCAs say that like MPs, they hold committee sittings, represent, consider bills and motions, legislate and oversight, approve plans and vet county executives.

Their salaries, they add, have only been reviewed once since the onset of devolved units in 2013.

Decrying worsening living conditions, MCAs want their remuneration structure made similar and equal to that of MPs.

The Star has established that SRC is due to revise upwards the remuneration and benefits for the entire public service next month.

The review is to cover the period stretching from the beginning of the fiscal year 2023-24 to the year 2024-25.

In setting MCA’s salaries in July 2022, SRC cited findings in the third pay and benefits review cycle, which was to cover 2025.

Presently, the majority leaders of the county assemblies earn a basic pay similar to the other ordinary members.

The leaders are given a special county assembly duty allowance of Sh32,000 with their deputies and the chief whip getting Sh29,000.

Chairpersons of committees, according to a July 1, 2022, Gazette Notice by the SRC, earn a Sh26,000 special duty allowance.

Their deputies are paid Sh23,000 with members of the speaker’s panel getting an extra Sh20,000 for the role.

The allowance is paid to officers “whose duties involve added responsibility over and above the duties stipulated in one’s terms of service for which a regular salary is paid – and while holding the job.”

MCAs are also entitled to medical cover for self, a spouse and up to four children below 25 years fully dependent on the lawmaker.

The package includes a Sh3 million inpatient cover, an outpatient cover of Sh200,000, maternity cover of Sh100,000, a dental cover of Sh50,000, and Sh50,000 for optical.

MCAs are also entitled to a car loan and mortgage of Sh2 million and Sh3 million respectively, with that of speakers pegged at Sh4 million and Sh20 million in that order.

SRC also gazetted Sh5,000 airtime monthly package for the lawmakers in changes which saw plenary sitting allowances abolished.

A car maintenance allowance of Sh30,000 per month is currently paid to the deputy speakers and MCAs.

The mileage claims by the county lawmakers were also capped at Sh30,000 per month from the previous Sh22,000.

Committee sitting allowances are provided at Sh104,000 per month for the chairperson, Sh83,200 for vice chairpersons and Sh62,000 for ordinary members.

Leaders of majority and minority are paid a special duty allowance of Sh32,000 per month while chief whips, and deputy leaders get Sh29,000.

Deputy whips pocket Sh26,000 – as is the case of chairpersons of committees, while vice chairpersons take home a Sh23,000 special duty allowance. Members of the speaker’s panel get Sh20,000 per month.

MCAs have a leeway to borrow up to Sh5 million to purchase a car or a home in a scheme run by County Assembly Service Boards.

MCAs further argue that being at the lowest level they “bear the most burden of supporting the common mwananchi.”

The MCAs campaign follows in the wake of a similar one by County Public Service Boards that want their pay increased too.

The hiring panels want a pay increase of Sh154 million, to match up their counterparts at the Public Service Commission.

They want chairpersons’ pay increased from Sh340,000 per month to Sh765,188, which is the case of the PSC chairperson

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