'SPEAKER AWARDED'

Provide house allowance or be sued, SRC told

MCAs say they are entitled to house allowance like other state officers, accuse SRC of bias

In Summary

• Last year, the High Court ruled that deputy governors were entitled to house allowances like other state officers. 

• Two MCAs oppose motion as 'if passed, it will be a further burden for Wanjiku.'  They alk out.

Assembly Majority leader Abdi Hassan Guyo during session on August 8.
SRC BIASED: Assembly Majority leader Abdi Hassan Guyo during session on August 8.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

 MCAs have threatened to sue the Salaries and Remuneration Commission if it does not provide for the payment their house allowances.

The MCAs want the house allowance and implemented based on the High Court ruling last year. MPs and Senators already awarded themselves house allowances.

The house allowances are being challenged in court.

If the SRC gives in to the MCAs, the 1,450 ward reps across the country will get Sh85,000 monthly housing allowance.

In a motion by Majority leader Abdi Guyo on Thursday, the legislators denounced he SRC for "being biased towards the county assemblies".

Guyo said MCAs are classified as state officers and as such should be allowed to have house allowances.

“This resolution that was passed by the County Assembly Forum and the SRC knows we need the house allowances," he said. 

"I  earn less than Sh50,000 after deductions so you can imagine what other members earn. How do you expect us to oversee an Sh35.3 billion budget with such a salary?" Guyo asked.

On October 5 last year, High Court Judge Chacha Mwita in a constitutional petition ruled that deputy governors were entitled to house allowances like other state officers. 

I earn less than Sh50,000 after deductions so you can imagine what other members earn. How do you expect us to oversee an Sh35.3 billion budget with such a salary?
Majority leader Abdi Guyo

Mwita said failure to award the deputy county chiefs' housing allowances was discriminatory, unjustifiably selective and contrary to the Constitution.

Guyo also blamed the officials of the County Assembly Forum for not demanding the allowance.

He accused the chairperson and his deputy of being self-centred "as they negotiated for the increase of speakers' salaries and forgot the MCAs whom they represent". 

 “MCAs cannot engage the SRC directly but through the CAF. As an employee of MCAs, how can a speaker get house allowance before the members? I don’t understand what type of rationale was used by SRC," the Matopeni MCA said. 

He also condemned SRC’s move on July 10 to increase executive salaries "while the legislators who oversight (them) have been left aside.

Guyo said the SRC should be disbanded if it cannot fairly executive its mandate.

Nairobi West MCA Maurice Gari said legislators' welfare should be considered and the SRC should honour the court ruling

"The basic salary of an MCA after we deduct family expenses, loans and what we use in the ward from our personal pockets, one can easily leave us wth only  Sh7,000 in our pockets," he said. 

It will be selfish if we gain more just because our friends from the Senate and Assembly are getting house allowances. If one feels that they are earning less, they should go and look for other jobs
Osman Adow

The motion was, however, vehemently opposed by Waithaka MCA Anthony Kiragu who said it will further burden Wanjiku. 

"If the motion is passed, I will personally write to the clerk of the assembly that the house allowance should not be included in my payslip,” Kiragu said.

His Eastleigh North counterpart Osman Adow said it would be an injustice if MCAs awarded themselves hefty perks. 

"It will be selfish if we gain more just because our friends from the Senate and National Assembly are getting house allowances. If one feels that they are earning less, they should go and look for other jobs,” he said. 

The two legislators walked out of the chambers in protest.

Edited by R.Wamochie