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HomeCountiesKakamega county assembly shuts down amidst salary increase debate with SRC

Kakamega county assembly shuts down amidst salary increase debate with SRC

By Arnold Lutomia, Kakamega
Members of the County Assembly of Kakamega (MCAs) have suspended their legislative function.
By holding over plenary sittings (sessions),they will now concentrate on attending committees’ sittings,where the bulky of oversight work is executed.
Last year,the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) abolished the plenary sittings allowances for MCAs.
The Assembly joins 24 other County Assemblies across the country who have shut down operations in a move to show solidarity and protest against what they say are poor terms and condition of service.
Through a motion sponsored by the leader of majority, Philip Maina, the county legislators resolved to discontinue their plenary sittings to show solidarity with their counterparts from the County Assemblies that have so far closed.
“Let it be clear that we have not closed indefinitely. According to our House calendar we are supposed to proceed on a short recess from Friday 14th July to Monday 24th of the same month 2023 but members have resolved to adjourn the House in advance so that they have sufficient time to engage with various government entities in addressing our welfare,” Hon. Maina explained.
He said MCAs have put on hold plenary sessions until their plight is addressed.
“Members will continue to execute other mandates of oversight and representation through various committees,”
Maina clarified while moving the motion that was supported by all members present during the Tuesday afternoon session chaired by the Speaker, James Namatsi.
Maina added that during the recess the MCAs will have some time to be with their electorates in respective wards as well as their families, especially now that learners are on their mid-term break.
Early in May this year MCAs drawn from 47 County Assemblies gathered in Nairobi and made several resolutions demanding a review of their salary and other matters touching on their welfare.
Some of their demands include, compelling the SRC to reinstate mileage allowances to comply with AA rates, reinstatement of their plenary sessions allowances, review of members’ remuneration and other benefits, County Assemblies be granted financial autonomy for effective execution of their mandates, establishment of ward development fund and county affirmative fund for nominated MCAs be anchored in law.
While debating on the motion, the members questioned the rationale behind SRC awarding them a salary of close to Sh86,000 against high salaries earned by governors and other elected leaders, which range from Sh500,000 to Sh1 million.
Godliver Omondi, a nominated MCA called on the senators join MCAs in calling for better remuneration.
“We must join our counterparts across the country to constructively engage with the SRC.We have huge responsibilities because the little income we earn it is shared among our electorates. This is why we are calling on the commission to reason with us.” said Charles Nandwa
 Donald Okumu lamented “Mr. Speaker Sir, we are demanding for fairness and equity. It is high time the SRC listens to our plight. We serve Wananchi on daily basis and their demands are too high. We are unable to sustain the situation with our meagre remuneration.”
 Charles Nandwa said “We must join our counterparts across the country to constructively engage with the SRC.We have huge responsibilities because the little income we earn it is shared among our electorates. This is why we are calling on the commission to reason with us.”
Bonface Osanga wondered why SRC has excluded MCAs in reviewing their welfare. He said other elected leaders are well paid.
Hon. Doreen Muyonga demystified a perception that  MCAs are less educated and so they do not deserve better remuneration. “We are well educated.  Therefore, it is imperative that our welfare is addressed to enable us effectively serve the public.”
Before making the resolution to suspend plenary sessions, members approved the Kakamega County Governor’s Spouse Bill, 2022 and A report on the vetting of the 14 nominees to be board members of the Kakamega and Mumias Municipalities.
The House also passed the Kakamega County Appropriations Bill, 2023/24, which has already been assented to by Governor, Fernandes Barasa.
End
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