EMBU WARD REPs DOWN TOOLS OVER SCRAPPED ALLOWANCES
The County Assembly of Embu has adjourned indefinitely in a bid to compel the National Government to review the remuneration of Ward Representatives.
The move that paralyses law-making in the county is in solidarity with other County Legislatures across the country is in line with resolutions made by the Association of Members of the County Assemblies during their congress held on 3rd May 2023 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi.
Among other issues, the MCAs are also demanding for the establishment of a Ward Development Fund and a County Affirmative Action Fund for Nominated MCAs as measures to further devolve resources to the grassroots. They said the establishment of these funds have deliberately been thwarted in parliament.
The leaders also want County Assemblies to be granted of financial autonomy to enable them to oversight the County Executive effectively. The MCAs hold that it is currently impossible to execute any checks or balances on County Governments when the Governors control all monies in the counties.
The Motion which was moved by Kiambere MCA Lenny Masters at the same time seeks the reinstatement of payment of mileage allowances for Ward Reps who hail from far-flung areas in the interiors of the county as well as sitting allowances for plenary sessions.
The allowances were scrapped by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) at the lapse of the second assembly, while the MCA salaries were also downscaled from Ksh 124,000 to Ksh 86,000 before statutory deductions. The Ward Reps now want an explanation on the rationale for the reduction.
Various MCAs who contributed to the Motion during the sitting chaired by Temporary Speaker Susan Mwende (Nominated) charged that their remuneration is not commensurate with their duties and opined that their salaries should be at least 50 percent of the Ksh 525,000 earned by County Assembly Speakers.
Coming barely a day after the MCAs resumed sittings after a long recess as per the Legislative Calendar, the Motion to adjourn the House Sine Die aims at providing ample time for negotiations between the MCA Association and the National Government on improvement of Ward Reps’ welfare.
The adjournment has put into jeopardy major county development projects with the making of the 2023-2024 Financial Year’s budget now suspended indefinitely, only a month to the end of the current fiscal year.