RETIREMENT PACKAGE

Pension Bill for MCAs gets governors' backing

MCAs say a pension scheme will enable ward representatives who have served for at least two term live a decent life.

In Summary
  • MCAs currently do not have a pension scheme and majority of those voted out during elections return home with no clear future financial plan.
  • CoG called on ward reps from five counties in Western region to support BBI since the initiative seeks to strengthen devolution.
Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya addresses the media
MONEY MATTERS: Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya addresses the media
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

Governors will support MCAs in their push for a law that will give them pension after service.

The new legislation that is developed by the Council of Governors on the welfare of governors and deputy governors will also cover county assembly speakers and MCAs.

Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said the proposed legislation’s passage would cushion MCAs from after-service economic shocks resulting from lack of a salary.

 

MCAs currently do not have a pension scheme and the majority of those voted out during elections return home with no clear future financial plan.

“Pension is an important thing and you know these are honourable people who have served the public, so this is not an unusual thing,” Oparanya said.

“We have already received the Attorney General’s opinion and he has said when we start a pension scheme it has to come from county funds because MCAs do their work in the county. So we are not looking at something strange.”

He, however, said in case the proposed legislation is signed into law, the regulation must be uniform across the 47 counties. He said it must have guidelines from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

Oparanya who was accompanied by Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong spoke during the Western Cluster County Assemblies Forum in Busia.

“This is something that we are going to drum up support for all over Kenya. The five county assemblies of Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia that have already met will meet the others so that we explain to them what we intend to do,” the Kakamega governor said.

The proposed legislation targets governors, deputy governors and MCAs who have served two consecutive terms.

 
 

The over 100 MCAs who attended the forum held at Busia’s Agricultural Training Centre unanimously agreed that the matter be pushed urgently.

The ward representatives also in their resolutions read by Trans Nzoia county assembly Speaker Joshua Werunga agreed that the County Assemblies Forum should initiate deliberations aimed at developing uniform legislation on a Ward Development Fund that will ensure the disbursement of money for development.

Besides, they said the Western Cluster Counties Assemblies Forum will support the BBI report and MCAs in the region will push for the BBI to enhance funding and resource allocation to the ward level.

Oparanya called on the ward reps from the five counties constituting Western region to support BBI since the initiative seeks to strengthen devolution.

“We have agreed that when that time comes we will remain together and we will support the BBI. We know there are people saying that they will oppose BBI. We are waiting for them in the field and we want to see how far they will go in their bid to oppose the BBI,” Oparanya said.

He said leaders in Western counties have agreed to work together to make sure BBI is approved.

“BBI strengthens devolution. It will bring more resources to counties and it will make sure money comes to the wards to help our people. We will support it as one team,” he said.

Ojaamong said MCAs deserve to earn even more than Members of Parliament, thus the need to consider their welfare given their close proximity to the electorate than MPs.

“For devolution to succeed governors, speakers and MCAs need to put efforts in ensuring the Building Bridges Initiative factors in pensions and Ward Development Fund for MCAs,” he said.

“We must fight for the BBI to have more resources trickle to counties. The need to have a social hall for retirees to share their experiences is crucial and to look into their welfare.”

Among those present were Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi and Busia county assembly Speaker Bernard Wamalwa.

Edited by Henry Makori