Trans Nzoia ward representatives received the highest cash amount in sitting allowances in the nine months to March with each MCA pocketing Sh136,251 monthly, emerging as the only county that breached the set expenditure limit.
The latest Controller of Budget report shows that Trans Nzoia blew a total of Sh49.05 million on meeting allowances for its 40 MCAs in the nine month period.
The allowances are paid out for attending plenary (chamber) sittings and committee meetings.
Least paid were Lamu MCAs with an average sitting perk of Sh12,063 a month, trailing their Trans Nzoia counterparts eleven times.
Vihiga ward representatives received the second lowest sitting perks of Sh21,819 a month.
Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo has previously warned that meeting and travel allowances are taking a huge chunk of county governments’ revenues.
“Trans Nzoia County Assembly reported a higher monthly average expenditure on MCA’s sitting allowances than the SRC’s (Salaries and Remuneration Commission) recommended maximum of Sh124,800 at Sh136,251,” said Ms Odhiambo in the report.
The report shows that Homa Bay MCAs enjoyed the second biggest meeting allowances in the review period at Sh123,649 a month, followed by those in Samburu (Sh121,384) while their Garissa counterparts emerged fourth at Sh118,595 monthly.
Thousands of aspirants are vying for MCA position in the August 8 General Election, egged on by hefty pay that comes with the position.
But a recent review of pay government structure by the SRC has slashed MCAs pay from Sh165,000 to Sh144,375 a month for the 2017-2022 period and scrapped sitting and mileage allowances in efforts to tame the bloated wage bill.
On average, each of Kenya’s 2,266 MCAs pocketed Sh84,875 in sitting allowances in the nine-month period between June 2016 and March 2017, amounting to Sh1.73 billion.
The abolition of the allowances for MCAs is expected to save the taxpayers Sh3.93 billion.