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Kenyan MPs still angry at SRC over pay cuts

POLITICS
By Wilfred Ayaga | July 1st 2015
The nominee to the position of Salaries and Remuneration Commission CEO Ann Gitau addresses the Finance and Trade Committee during her vetting yesterday. [PHOTO: MOSES OMUSULA/ STANDARD]

NAIROBI: It became evident Tuesday during the vetting of the nominee to the position of Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chief Executive Officer Anne Gitau that MPs are yet to forgive the commission for reducing their salaries and allowances last year.

Ms Gitau found herself on the firing line of members of a vetting committee as she battled to convince the MPs to recommend her name as CEO to the commission, a position she has been holding in acting capacity for the last 16 months.

Members of the House Finance, Planning and Trade Committee however took the opportunity to remind the nominee that under her watch as acting CEO, SRC made decisions injurious to MPs' interests, chief among them the scaling down of their salaries and allowances 'without consultation'.

The MPs also took issue with an evaluation process allegedly carried out in 2012 by the commission to determine their salaries, arguing they were not involved.

"We have a feeling that your commission has been targeting MPs. Our perks were substantially reduced. What advise were you giving?" asked Oburu Oginga (Nominated).

Committee Vice Chair Nelson Gaichuhie (Subukia) wanted to know the criteria that had been used to cut salaries and disagreed with the nominee that SRC had consulted before the decision was reached.

But Gitau told the committee members were aware of the evaluation before SRC reached a decision to publish new salaries. "There was a lot of consulting, including with the former speaker and members. We even gave members questionnaires to fill," said the nominee.

But Gaichuhie sought the support of members on the truthfulness of her statement.

"I was a member of this committee. You did not come here with questionnaires. Shakeel Shabbir (Kisumu East) can confirm," he said, before challenging her to name MPs who participated in the evaluation. Shabbir termed the commission 'a political animal'.

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