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Gachagua's PS chased away from KICC meeting as MCAs demand pay rise

Eyes on DP Gachagua as MCAs chases away his PS while demanding salary increase from Sh144,000 to Sh400,000

A collage photo of Deputy President Rigathi Gachgua and Devolution PS Teresia Mbaika

Members of the County Assembly from various devolved units gathered at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) for their inaugural congress on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

During the meeting, they passed five resolutions, including a demand for a salary increase. from the current Sh144,000 to Sh400,000.

The MCAs have given the government 14 days to address their demands, or they will boycott sittings.

During the event, the MCAs demanded to be addressed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua instead of Devolution Principal Secretary Teresia Mbaika, whom they chased away from the venue.

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"We don't want an intermediary because we are tired. The County Assemblies Forum has been meeting with junior officers without much help. The person in charge of devolition is not the PS. Can we now have the person who is in charge of devolution who is the deputy president," one of the leaders said.

He said that from a gross pay of about Sh200,000 inlcuding allowances, he took home only Sh34,000 after taxes and deductions.

Another leader said that the vehicle loans and mortgages offered to MCAs would mean that a legislator who have to pay upto Sh118,000 monthly, for five years.

He argued that the current salary doesn't allow them to enjoy these benefits due to cash constraints.

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President William Ruto put the State Department for Devolution under the office of the Deputy President after failing to name a Devolution CS while assembling his Cabinet in 2022.

The MCAs accused the government of neglecting them and not providing fair compensation for the work they do.

The legislators also demanded reinstatement of plenary allowances, scrapping of the taxes levied on vehicles reimbursments by KRA, county ward equitable development fund (20% of the county budget), financial independence of county assemblies.

The MCAs have threatened to boycott the passing of their budgets if their demands are not addressed. This move could cripple the county governments' operations, affecting service delivery to citizens.

The MCAs' demands come at a time when the government is under pressure to reduce spending amid economic challenges.

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It remains to be seen how the government will respond to the MCAs' demands, given the current financial constraints.

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