LEADER: Kenya can't afford to pay MCAs more

In Summary

• MCAS want their basic salary doubled to almost Sh400,000 per month

• The Salaries and Remuneration Commission wants to set salaries for both national and county legislators

Politics should be about service not about profit. But our Members of County Assembles (MCAs) think it is the other way around.

Last week they demanded that their basic salary be raised from Sh144,375 to Sh397,320 per month. MCAs already get various extra allowances, mortgages, car loans, car maintenance and mileage, and family health care. 

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has determined the appropriate salary level for MCAs but they argue that they should be paid more because they have the same responsibility as national parliaments yet they are closer to the people.

The MCAs also argue that their low salaries mean that they cannot perform their legislative functions effectively. But this is dubious. A private employer will never submit to blackmail by an incompetent employee who says that low pay is responsible for poor performance.

The MCAs are not completely to blame.  They have been set a bad example by national legislators who do not want to be subject to the decisions of the SRC. 

But two wrongs do not make a right. The MPs should accept the rulings of the SRC and so should MCAs. Kenya cannot afford to pay them more.

Quote of the day: "The rule of law is the basis for any democracy. And without the rule of law in democracy, you have chaos."

Meles Zenawi
The Ethiopian Prime Minister  was born on May 9, 1955

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star