Even before the Members of Parliament are sworn into office, a battle is looming between them and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission over their nipped salaries and allowances.
Everything points to an impending standoff between the legislative arm and the SRC, as a section of MPs-elect have warned that they will not accept salaries lower than those given to their predecessors.
Members of the National Assembly will now earn Sh621,000 from Sh710,000 per month where as incoming Speakers of Parliament will earn Sh1.155 million, down from Sh1.32 million and their deputies Sh924,000 which was adjusted downwards from Sh1.056m.
Outgoing commissioner at the Parliamentary Service Commission Gladys Wanga on Wednesday, August 23, noted the move by SRC was meant to demean legislators and turn them into beggars.
Speaking to journalists at Parliament Building, Wanga said the Sarah Serem-led commission has humiliated them and wants to make them to start desperately begging for handouts to perform their duties.
“There is a mission to demean the legislative arm of government. This is a mission to reduce MPs to beggars and perhaps take them back to the 1990s, when they used to beg for handouts to be able to perform their duties at the constituencies,” Wanga who retained her seat as Homa Bay woman representative said.
She rubbished the gazette notice by the SRC saying it failed to evaluate the legislators’ work accordingly before effecting the new remunerations.
“This will not happen on our watch. As the PSC, we will not allow members to be reduced to beggars. This is a major reduction for MPs because they went to seek these elective positions knowing what the salaries and allowances were,” a distraught Wanga said.
Echoing the controversial MP’s sentiments was her Kiambu counterpart Gathoni wa Muchomba who said MPs should be remunerated fairly so as to effectively ensure development at the grassroots.
Speaking during an interview on NTV, Gathoni noted the move would demoralise them from carrying out their duties because the environment would not be conducive.
“Does it mean when MPs tighten their belts we will close the gap? Where am I supposed to get those resources if my salary is not adequate to share? I am really against that move because it demoralises people from doing what they are supposed to do,” she said.
Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta welcomed the move following the gazettement, saying it would go along way to keep in check the ballooning public wage bill.