Kilifi County Assembly on Tuesday adjourned indefinitely to protest at a decision by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to reduce the remuneration of Members of County Assemblies.
The MCAs unanimously endorsed a motion moved by Deputy Majority Leader Martha Koki seeking a sine die adjournment of plenary sittings until the commission rescinds its decision and reinstate their allowances.
Speaking to journalists after successfully moving the motion, Koki also called for the reinstatement of sitting allowances that the SRC removed from their perks.
“We have adjourned sittings indefinitely until our cry is heard. We are now going to the grassroots to be with the electorate until our grievances are addressed,” said Koki.
Koki said MCAs were passing through difficult times since the reduction of their perks from Ksh 144,000 to Ksh 86,000 per month.
“By the grace of God, I was in the second county assembly when an MCA was earning Ksh 144,000 monthly, but now we are earning Ksh 86,000. Legally, are salaries supposed to be increased or decreased?” she posed.
She dismissed claims that the MCAs are selfish in seeking for better remuneration, saying that the money they are seeking is aimed at serving the electorate better since they (MCAs) are in daily contact with the people at the grassroots.
Ganze Ward MCA Karisa Ngirani said it was discriminatory for the SRC to remove the sitting allowances of MCAs while retaining those of Members of the National Assembly and Senators.
“They withdrew the allowances for MCAs but we are aware that Members of the National Assembly and Senate are receiving them. What is the difference between us and the two other houses of Parliament?” He quipped.
He said the removal of sitting allowances was discouraging members from attending sessions since they find it useless to attend assembly sittings which have no monetary value.
He also said the MCAs were agitating for the enactment of a Ward Development Fund law to ensure that wards receive funds for development without relying on the goodwill of governors.
“We want a law like the one that formed the National Government Constituency Development Fund so that the MCAs do not have to dance to the tunes of the governors for them to receive funds to develop their respective areas,” he said.