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Uhuru: officials elected in August will earn less in new SRC plan

Officials who will be elected in the August polls will earn lower salaries than the current lot if proposals by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) are adopted.

In his last State of the Nation address, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he had received a proposal from SRC that recommends, amongst other measures, a rationalization of the salaries and allowances paid to senior state officers, public servants, elected officials from MCA all the way to the president.

“That will result in a reduction in salaries and allowances for those elected in August this year. I as your President fully support the recommendations of the SRC and I call upon all of us to adopt these recommendations.”

In the last four years, Members of the County Assemblies have emerged as some of the top earning elected officials.

In this year’s election in August, some 20,000 Kenyans have expressed interested in filling the available 1,450 elected MCA  positions.

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The record number of MCA enthusiasts has also pushed the total number of aspirants to a record 40,000, from just 14,000 in the 2013 polls.

The president said the calling of leadership is to serve and not to become rich through serving.

“As politicians we must accept that our ever increasing salaries and allowances have contributed to the unsustainable demands by other cadres within the public sector to increase their own remuneration at the expense of our people and the country’s development agenda,” he said.

The president said the SRC recommendations will help contain the overall wage bill and allow the commission the leeway to review the salaries of all public servants at National and County levels, with a view to improving the terms of those in lowest cadres.

“These recommendations will allow us to pay more attention to our medical professionals, our teachers, our policemen, prisons officers and many others who also need to receive adequate compensation for the services that they render. Most importantly, we will be respecting the wishes of our own employers, the wananchi,” he said.

The head of state further warned that Kenya’s wage bill threatens to swamp the country’s development agenda.

RETIRE BANKRUPT

Today, he noted, the public wage bill stands at Sh627 billion annually, amounting to 50 per cent of the total revenues collected by the Government.

“This staggering amount is used to pay the salaries and allowances of 700,000 public officers including those of us here today. In simple terms, 50 per cent of all the money collected as revenues in Kenya goes in to the pockets of less than 2 per cent of the country’s total population,” he said.

The president said the spiraling of the wage bill has been fuelled by incessant strikes, go-slows and neglect of duties.

He also sought to reassure politicians that they would not retire bankrupt.

“I appreciate that the silent fear of every politician is ending their career in politics broke and destitute. This fear may have its foundations in our history, when our MP’s and ministers would retire or lose their elective seats and thereafter wallow in poverty. Since then as a country we have come a long way in addressing these fears,” he said.