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Review our salaries, County representatives urge

19 March 2013, 13:26 Anthony Muriuki

Elected members of the Meru County Assembly have called on the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to consider reviewing their salary upwards terming it as meager.

Speaking during a briefing presided by Governor elect Peter Munya in Meru town ahead of their inauguration on Friday, the members of the County Assembly said the salary is not in line with their new positions and responsibilities.

“At first, the salary was set at about KES 300 000 but has been slashed to KES 79 000.

Our welfare should be looked at seriously,” said Julius Mbijiwe the County Representative elect for Mwanganthia Ward in Central Imenti.

Kiome Rimbere of Municipality Ward and a former Councilor in North Imenti warned that such a salary may encourage corruption in the county governments.

“With this kind of salary, I am afraid that we are welcoming corruption at the very beginning of the new dispensation. County representatives may strain to deliver because needy people are already flocking here seeking our attention. Please take care of our welfare,” Kiome said.

Stephen Nturibi from Tigania West and a former councilor for Akithii Ward lamented that the gazetted salary is far below what he earned as a councilor saying the new position comes with increased responsibility.

“We are told that our position is far better than that of councilors and that we will be in charge of more resources. For us to work comfortably, they should give us better salaries. We are very uncomfortable with the gazetted salary,” said Nturibi.

Expressing similar sentiments, Meru Governor elect Peter Munya warned that the county governments are likely to fail if members of county assembly and other staff will not be paid well.

“We thought that the new constitution was bringing better things because the idea behind scrapping of councilors was to have a more effective position. We are surprised that the remuneration is going down.  We will raise these matters in the governors’ council for possible review,” Munya said.

He also lamented that the salaries set for County executive committee cannot attract the best professionals who can steer development.

“For the county government to take off well, we must have the best minds in the executive committee. How do they expect us to get the best professionals yet the salary is set at KES 180 000?” he posed.

They vowed to continue pushing for improved welfare including security, cheap loans and state funded offices.

County representatives are set to be sworn in on Friday this week.

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