Mutua clashes with SRC over medics’ allowances
By Erastus Mulwa and Peterson Githaiga | April 13th 2020
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has come under attack for opposing proposed special allowances for health workers battling Covid-19.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua said the country must give priority to the welfare of health workers, and accused SRC of being insensitive.
In an announcement last week that was welcomed by health workers across Machakos County, Dr Mutua offered special allowances for various cadres of health workers, ranging from Sh5,000 to Sh20,000 a month for the next three months.
Addressing a press conference at his Mavoko office in Athi River Sub-county yesterday, Mutua said he hoped to motivate hundreds of health workers who were putting their lives on the line to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
But in a letter dated April 9 and addressed to Wycliffe Oparanya, the chairperson of the Council of Governors, SRC Chairperson Lyn Mengich termed Mutua’s move unlawful, arguing that the governor failed to follow procedure in awarding health workers an allowance.
But Mutua maintained his directive was arrived at after adequate consultations with relevant stakeholders at the county level.
Mutua’s sentiments were echoed by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, who in a statement released to the press termed SRC’s sentiments "grossly insensitive".
“The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) should stop being mechanical in its approach to issues,” he said.
Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli called for the disbandment of SRC over the allowances dispute.
Speaking in Kajiado yesterday, Mr Atwoli said the commission had overstepped its mandate by opposing the Council of Governors' call to offer special allowances to the health workers handling Covid-19 patients in various counties.
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