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HomeFEATURED ARTICLENew report shows best and worst paid MCAs

New report shows best and worst paid MCAs

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Trans Nzoia ward representatives received the highest amount in sitting allowances in the financial year ended June while their Mandera counterparts were the least paid, a new report shows.

The Controller of Budget’s report released Wednesday shows that on average each of the 39 MCAs in Trans Nzoia was paid Sh191,467 per month for attending meetings in the fiscal year 2014/15.  Their 49 counterparts in Mandera earned Sh37,933 per month – one-fifth of the take-home amount by the Trans Nzoia representatives.

Other MCAs who pocketed huge allowances are from Migori where each of the 61 representatives earned Sh178,618 monthly, Homa Bay (Sh164,779), Wajir (Sh163,226), Busia (Sh152,035) and Siaya at Sh147,273.  Besides Mandera, the other low spenders were Makueni (Sh49,129), Machakos (Sh52,250), Baringo (Sh53,564) and Taita Taveta (Sh62,971).

Kenya’s 2,256 MCAs on average earned Sh108,446 per month, up from Sh88,044 in their first year in office in the fiscal year 2013/14, pushing their total pay to Sh2.9 billion.  Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo has consistently warned that meeting allowances are taking a huge chunk of county government revenues at the expense of development, and wants the budget line reassessed.

COMMENT: LET IT BE DONE TO CORRUPT GOVERNORS AS IT WAS DONE TO MINISTERS

“As highlighted…the office recommends that an audit of this expense item should be conducted to ascertain the validity of the expenditure and recovery of excess payments,” says Mrs Odhiambo in the report.

The report shows that 19 counties breached the Sh124,800 ceiling fixed by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for monthly sitting allowances. They include Kisumu, Kakamega, Bomet, Bungoma, Murang’a and Nyeri.

Counties whose expenditure on sitting allowances overshot their budgetary allocation include Turkana which blew Sh54.3 million yet it had budgeted Sh10 million while Kisii spent Sh118.3 million against the set Sh88 million.

Murang’a, Nyandarua, Bomet, Siaya and Nyeri also burst their budgetary allocations. The report says Nairobi spent the most cash on sitting allowances at Sh150.5 million for its 128 members, but each took a smaller perk of Sh97,994.

Many Kenyans view elected representatives, including MPs, as greedy individuals who seek public office for personal gain in a country beset with high levels of poverty and an unemployment rate of about 40 per cent.

But politicians often argue that they deserve the high compensation because constituents expect them to provide charitable support.

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