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Sh258m reps’ earnings claim false, says House

The Nairobi County Assembly has dismissed a report that its members received Sh258 million in sitting allowances over six months ending in December 2013

County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele said that even if all MCAs attended the maximum allowable sittings, the figure would only come to Sh104 million, still below the Sh160 million annual budget.

According to a circular by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission sent in May 2013, an MCA could only be paid Sh3,000 for a maximum of eight sittings in a week (both plenary and committee sessions).

Figures quoted

A committee chairperson and a vice-chairperson were entitled to Sh5,000 and Sh4,000 per sitting respectively. These allowances were, however, enhanced beginning December.

Mr Ngwele added that he did not know the source of the figures quoted by Mrs Odhiambo, saying she has never written to the Assembly requesting for the such information.

“The Controller of Budget does not approach the county government as two separate entities. She does not correspond to us (Assembly) yet we run our own system,” he said.

He said it was likely that the Controller of Budget’s office picked the entire figure meant for salaries and allowances.

“Our system does not separate salaries and allowances so she might have picked the entire amount and termed it sitting allowance,” he said.

Speaker Alex Ole Magelo also said they did not have such kind of money to spend.

“This is outrageous, we are struggling even to fund some of the most basic activities here, why would such a colossal amount of money be paid in sitting allowances ?” he posed.

Commenting on the report, Governor Evans Kidero said allegations that  City Hall did not have an audit function were false.

“I don’t know where the controller got that information because we have an internal audit department, we have a director of internal audit who is very active and furthermore, the Kenya National Audit Office is based in based in our buildings. So we have three lines of audit and I was as surprised to read the allegations  on the issue,” he added.

Besides sitting allowance, MCAs are allowed a mileage allowance capped at Sh39,528 per month, Sh5,000 worth of airtime, a car loan of Sh2 million and a mortgage worth Sh3 million, both payable at an interest rate of three per cent.