Lawmakers vow to overturn new salaries cut notice

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

MPs Thursday evening demanded reinstatement of the hefty salaries the last Parliament earned and vowed to annul a gazette notice published by the salaries commission which abolished several perks.

The MPs, who are yet to earn their first salary since election on August 8, put their employer, the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), to task to explain why it had failed to overturn the Sarah Serem-led SRC salary cuts.

“We either work together or we perish together. The Executive is very happy when they see us beg,” said Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa said.

“We must jealously advocate for our salary increase. This is the time to advance our grievances for better pay. We must do this before the fresh presidential election,” Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa said.

The MPs said they will overturn the gazette notice if PSC fails to negotiate a better deal. In 2013, the MPS successfully fought attempts by salaries commission to lower their pay.

The SRC in July published a gazette notice that drastically reduced salaries of MPs from Sh710, 000 to Sh621, 000.

The commission also abolished the Sh5 million car grant, weekly mileage allowance and plenary sitting allowance that the 11th Parliament enjoyed.

With the backing of President Uhuru Kenyatta, the SRC, scrapped sitting allowances for plenary sessions, mileage allowances, and special parliamentary and responsibility allowances for MPs.

The 2017-22 pay structure come into effect with the inauguration of the 12th Parliament on August 31, 2017.

The MPs turned a session meant to induct MPs on House rules into a lamentation forum where they agitated for higher salaries, reinstatement of car grants, mileage, improved medical cover and additional security personnel.

Despite pleas by National Assembly deputy Speaker and the clerk Michael Sialai to drop discussion on the matter, the MPs demanded an informal meeting (Kamukunji) to deliberate on the matter.

“PSC is alive to the issues and concerns you have raised. This are matters being canvassed between PSC, SRC and others.  At some stage, we will have a Kamukunji to give you more details,” Mr Sialai told MPs.

Chairpersons of committees in the 11th Parliament earned up to Sh10,000 per day or a maximum of Sh160,000 a month, vice-chairpersons Sh8,000 per day or a maximum of Sh128,000 a month, and committee members Sh5,000 daily or up to Sh80,000 a month under the remuneration structure that expired on August 8.