SRC candidate asked to explain why she's looking for job at 73

Dr Phyllis Wagacha, nominee member, Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) when she appeared before the Departmental Committee on Labour on June 23, 2023 [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Dr Phyllis Wagacha, who is a candidate for the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) was on Friday put to task about her age by parliament’s Departmental Committee on Labour.

The Committee led by Runyenjes MP Eric Muchangi tasked the candidate to explain why she was interested in the job at 73.

Wangacha was also asked to explain how she will weed out the ghost workers in the civil service and job group grading.

“You are now 73, if approved and hired, you’ll retire at 79, by that time you may not be energetic enough for the job,” Machangi asked the candidate.

In response, Wangacha told the Committee that there should be no reason to deny any Kenyan a chance to serve the nation at whatever level.

Other members of the Committee are Kangundo MP Fabian Kyule, Vice Chair, Kangema MP Peter Kihungi, TransNzoia Woman Rep Lillian Siyoi and Kisii Woman Rep Donya Doris.

Kangema MP Peter Kihungi sought to find out what Wangacha would do about the current salaries demanded by MCAs if she is approved for the job.

“If the government improves their public sector services, like hospitals, schools, among other public amenities, these will progressively reduce the burden on the local leaders,” she explained.

Pointing out, “MCA’s salary increment may also need a public participation, between, SRC, the public and also the counties, then they be rated on their workload and productivity,” said Phyllis

Kihungi also raised a concern about how county clerks are paid almost double what MCAs get and yet the MCAs are elected by the public and tasked with huge responsibilities in their wards.

Kangundo MP Fabian Kyule inquired from the candidate what she will do to compensate civil servants who work for long hours.

To this, Wangacha told the committee that working hours should be based on one’s production and the nature of the job and services.

If approved, Phylis promised to set up a data mining centre and warehouse, she suggested that SRC had digitized the data centre.

At the same time, she explained that there is a need to relook at the duplication of duties/jobs in public service so as to lock out ghost workers.