When the 349 elected lawmakers take oath of office next Thursday, arguably the hottest topic of discussion will be the proposed pay cut by the Sarah Serem led Salaries and Remuneration Commission, SRC.
Already, the proposed pay reduction for state officers is drawing a mixed bag of reactions.
However, President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta has announced his support for the pay cut, vowing to veto any attempt by parliament to halt the proposed pay cuts.
President Kenyatta termed as despicable the fact that several elected officials have come out to oppose the cuts even before they have been sworn in.
Homa Bay Woman Representative-elect Gladys Wanga and her Kiambu counterpart Gathoni wa Muchomba were the first to send early signals that some lawmakers may be planning to oppose the proposed pay cut.
In the proposed structure, MPs will be taking home 621, 000 shillings down from 710, 000 shillings.
The President’s pay has been reduced from 1.6 to 1.4 million shillings, Deputy President whose pay has been reduced from 1.4 to 1.2 million, Speakers of the bicameral parliament whose pay has been slashed from 1.3 to 1.1 million, Senators and Governors among others.
Also scrapped by SRC is the sitting and mileage allowances, a move Wanga says will reduce lawmakers to beggars
On 10th of July this year, SRC issued a gazette notice, effecting pay cuts to various state officers. The tricky bit is that this report requires the backing of the MPs if it is to see the light of day.
On his twitter handle, Deputy President William Ruto was quick castigate lawmakers already championing for more pay even before being sworn in.
Newly elected MPs Starehe’s Charles ‘Jaguar’ Kanyi, Nyali’s Mohammed ‘Jicho Pevu’ Ali, Dagoretti South’s John ‘KJ’ Kiarie and Gatundu South’s Moses kuria have all expressed approval for the pay cut.
With Jubilee having majority of elected lawmakers in both houses, it remains to be seen whether President Uhuru Kenyatta who backed the pay cut will marshal his troops to back the report that also seeks to reduce the country’s ballooning wage bill.