Bill proposes allowance to 27,000 village elders


Parliament in session. FILE PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

A new Bill has proposed a Sh3,000 allowance monthly for thousands of village elders across the country, which will see taxpayers spend about Sh1 billion every year.

The National Government Coordination (Amendment) Bill seeks to recognise the elders as national government administrative officers.

It proposes payment of allowances to the leaders appointed to the village council as may be determined by the Public Service Commission in consultation (PSC) with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

Malava MP Malulu Injendi, the Bill's sponsor, wants the government to pay allowances to at least three village elders in each sub-location.

Data from the Interior ministry tabled before the National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) shows that there are 9,045 sub-locations in Kenya.

This means that if Sh3,000 is paid as allowance to three village elders, there will be 27,135 elders who will take home a total of Sh81.4 million per month or Sh976.86 million annually.

“I propose an allowance of Sh3,000 per month to at least three village elders per chief. Village elders do national government work without any pay,” Mr Injendi told the BAC during pre-publication scrutiny of the draft law.

However, MPs expressed concerns over the exact number of village elders spread across the country.

BAC said some sub-locations within certain constituencies have between six to 12 villages thereby making it difficult to compute the exact number of village elders who currently provide voluntary work to the national government.

“In my Alego Usonga constituency, I have between seven to 13 villages and village elders in a single sub-location. I agree that they should be paid an allowance of say Sh500 per sitting and we cap it to two or three,” said Samuel Atandi.

Laisamis MP Joseph Lekuton proposed that the village elders be paid honoraria so long as no provision of the Constitution that scrapped the system of Provincial Administration is breached.

“The intention of the Bill is very good. We will look at the affordability of this proposal given the prevailing economic situation,” Ndindi Nyoro, who chairs BAC said.

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