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Serem mulls keeping off county pay issues

By Luke Anami and Bryan Tumwa | September 27th 2013

By Luke Anami and Bryan Tumwa

Kakamega,KENYA; Members of the county assemblies (MCAs) will be paid more once revenue collections surpass expenditure in their respective counties.

Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairperson Sarah Serem said on Wednesday that future salary reviews for MCAs and other County workers will be carried out by the individual county governments once they are able to sustain themselves.

“For now, we will review the salaries of county government workers once the commission completes the process of re-evaluating the devolved units. However, going forward, not now, each county will be the one to determine their pay based on revenue generated by their own counties. If there is justification and sustainability, yes their salaries will be increased,” Serem said after she met Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

Ms Serem, while on a tour of the county, said the current impasse between her commission and MCAs will be resolved as soon as the re-evaluation of the county governments’ duties and mandates was finalised.

Manageable wage

She took issue with the Kakamega County Assembly for declining to meet her saying no solution will be found without dialogue.

In line with the mandate of the SRC, the commission had set the salaries of state officers but did not do the same for county governments since they were not in existence at the time the review was being done.

“Devolved units were established to meet the needs of the people. The purpose is to encourage counties to be self-sustaining which means they should maintain a manageable wage bill,” she said. She explained the SRC has been to all the 47 counties to listen to their grievances, a process that will lead to re-evaluation of their duties and mandates.

“It is important that whatever review we do is aligned with the policies and structures we are coming up with. If they merit, we will review the salaries for governors and other county officers once all the factors are considered,” said Serem.

Oparanya reiterated the commitment of his government to raise more revenue through local mechanisms in order to meet recurrent expenditure from local resources. He said revenue collection had improved since his government took over.



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