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Economy

Uhuru, Ruto stop sending cash to pay cut account

President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | NMG
President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and Cabinet secretaries have stopped contributing to the voluntary pay cuts fund created three years ago after the salaries commission chopped their salaries in July.

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich said that the top public earners cut off the contributions in July when the fund held Sh70 million since 2014.

“They stopped contributing after the SRC reduced their pay in July,” said Mr Rotich, adding that he also stopped making the contributions.

In 2014, President Kenyatta ordered all CS, PS and parastatal heads to take pay cuts of 10-20 per cent to contain a bloated wage bill with the deductions held in the Central Bank’s Transformative Fund account.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) in July unveiled a leaner pay structure for senior officials and elected leaders from member of county assembly (MCA) to the President.

In the structure, the salary of President Kenyatta was chopped to a fixed Sh1.44 million per month from a maximum of Sh1.65 million while that of his deputy Ruto dropped to Sh1.2 million monthly from Sh1.4 million.

Cabinet secretaries’ pay dropped to Sh924,000 a month from Sh1.1 million while their PSs took a pay cut of Sh109, 312 to Sh765,188.
A section of MPs has faulted the lower pay order and have sworn to reject it.

The Sh70 million in the voluntary pay cuts fund is deemed low and signals that some top public officials may have defied the calls to trim their fat pay based on the number of expected contributors.

Mr Rotich said that part of the cash went towards funding the Presidential Digital Talent Programme (PDTP) that picks graduates for training in ICT.

The programme targets university IT graduates who have attained first or upper second class honours degrees and have been out of campus for less than two years.

The SRC triggered the pay cut drive after it raised the red flag over the unsustainable annual wage bill that crossed the Sh500 billion mark in 2014.

The Treasury opened the account at the Central Bank of Kenya where all deductions from salaries of Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto, Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and parastatal chiefs were to be deposited.

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