Members of the County Assemblies across the country have a reason to smile after President William Ruto promised them a pension scheme that will see them pocket millions of shillings after exiting from office.
The President, who spoke on Friday at Bomas of Kenya during the UDA National Governing Council meeting, said the MCAs will now be eligible to benefit from the scheme just like the MPs in both the Senate and the National Assembly.
“The assemblies will also have financial independence since we have agreed by the leadership of both houses to amend laws to give MCAs financial autonomy,’ said the Head of State.
Currently, before ward representatives are paid their salaries and allowances, the Finance CECs and the chief officer in the same department must authorise and in case the MCAs are not on good terms with the governors, then his appointees do not authorise their payments.
“It shows that the Kenya Kwanza administration is determined to listen to all leaders regardless of their status and position in the society and we are grateful,” said Karanja Maina of the Nyeri Assembly.
MCAs will now join the long list of legislators who enjoy pension schemes plus the exchequer’s contributions. The MPs who served in the last Parliament, according to a Parliamentary Pensions Scheme report, took home a cumulative Sh2.2 billion in pension payments when their tenure ended on August 8.
Each member of the National Assembly and Senate would benefit from the package according to the number of terms served with one-term lawmakers slated to pocket Sh5.8 million, while those who have served more than one term were entitled to a full pension amounting to Sh7.8 million.
The National Assembly consists of 349 members both elected and nominated with the Speaker serving as an ex-officio member while the Senate on the other hand has 67 elected and nominated Senators bringing the total in the two houses to 416 members.
The pension plan introduced in 1986 by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) includes savings calculated at 15 per cent interest per annum.
On top of this, at least 12 members who have served more than one term would receive a monthly stipend of Sh180,000 per month for life besides their full pension payment with over 2,000 MCAs joining their legislator’s counterparts, more money will go into the pension scheme.
But despite the President’s move, Maina maintained that they would continue agitating for better remuneration and, the Ward Development Fund, among other demands to warrant them a comfortable life. In June, MCAs in 18 county assemblies across the country adjourned sittings indefinitely to protest the low increase in their salaries and the scrapping of plenary sitting allowances by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
Among other demands that MCAs agitated for are the reinstatement of the Sh2 million car grant, plenary sitting and mileage allowances, and County Affirmative Action Fund established for nominated MCAs.
Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter