Members of Bungoma County assembly snub Serem
26 September 2013, 23:21
Bungoma - Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) across the country who are currently on strike should engage in constructive dialogue with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), its Chairperson, Sarah Serem, has said.
Speaking on Wednesday afternoon in Bungoma after holding talks with the county leaders with the exemption of MCAs whom she had planned to meet but boycotted, Serem said the going on strike will not solve the plight of the County representatives.
“The issues the MCAs are raising are valid, but we cannot solve a problem by running away from it. Only constructive dialogue can resolve the current stalemate," said Serem, who added that she came to Bungoma County hoping to meet both the executive and the legislature (MCAs) arms of the County government.
She appealed to the County representatives to abandon their current grandstanding of going on strike to push her commission to approve their pay increments and instead asked them to engage her commission.
Serem condemned the move by the members to boycott the meeting saying it was not a solution to addressing their problems.
“You can only appreciate and solve someone’s plight if you sit down with them, dialogue and listen to each other,” said Serem, who noted that Kenya cannot move forward without devolution.
The SRC chair termed as 'selfish, terribly misguided' the move by MPs and Members of County Assemblies to undo their designation as state officers and called for maturity and objectivity from elected leaders. She opined that the country's wage bill cannot be allowed to rise when there are no gains in the Gross Domestic Product.
Speaking journalists separately however, Bungoma County Assembly leader of majority, Majimbo Okumu, said that Serem and her commission should not feign ignorance of their demands.
“We absolutely had no reason to meet her and the SRC team; they are not new to our demands, they know the demands of the County representatives which has been brought to their attention,” said Okumu, outside the Bungoma County assembly.
Okumu said they have agreed with all the MCAs from the country not to engage with SRC and they will not resume their sittings.
“We are not in a hurry to come back to the County assembly; that is the position of all our colleagues, until we get what we are asking for. Our remuneration is not sufficient; our commuter allowance should be raised. We are the only state officers with no allowances and we need car grants,” said Majimbo.
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