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County executives want higher pay

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By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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County executive members have renewed their clamour for higher salaries, arguing that they should be recognised for their productivity and performance.
The ministers, who are attending a three-day conference in Nairobi, said theirs is a high-risk job.
During the opening of the summit, County Executive Committee Members chairperson Charles Birech asked the Council of Governors to intervene.

BAD TASTE
He said the reduction of their pay by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission was in bad taste.
Mr Birech, the Kericho County Infrastructure executive, said the current pay was not objectively and rationally determined.
SRC reduced the monthly pay for county executives from Sh350,000 to Sh259,563 last year.

ALLOWANCES
Every county has a maximum 10 executives.
“We need support from the Council of Governors. Our loyalty and allegiance is to governors. We ask our governors to hold our hands on this one,” Mr Birech said.
In January, State officers in counties got a reprieve when the High Court temporarily suspended the implementation of the pay cuts and abolished allowances.

SH8 BILLION
The directive was issued when the Kakamega County government challenged the decision by the commission to implement the review.
The salary structure for September 2017 to 2022 and which also affected other senior State officers was to reduce the country’s public wage bill by 35 per cent.
The then Sarah Serem-led commission said it would save Kenya more than Sh8 billion annually.

EXPECTATIONS
Council of Governors vice-chairperson Anne Waiguru said the welfare of county employees should be taken seriously “since governors have high expectations of them”.
She, however, added it must be within the framework of the law.
“We will pick up this matter with the council and make it our agenda in our meetings. County employees work a lot and sometimes governors push them and put targets which are not easily achievable,” the Kirinyaga governor said.

WAGE BILL
“We understand your needs and will ensure your welfare is taken care of. Every governor would want to see his or her employees protected.”
Finance experts say the ballooning wage bill is taking a heavy toll on the economy of the country and devolved governments, threatening growth, poverty-reduction and the citizens’ general welfare.
Mandera Trade and Industrialisation executive Abdiaziz Sheikh Maad wanted to know why county assembly speakers earn more than executives.

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