Ex-councillors praise stipend okayed by Senate

Former councillors have described as a deserved win a petition tabled before the Senate for a Sh18 billion send-off package for them.

Thursday February 18 2016

Some of the former councillors who met at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, Nairobi, on September 15, 2015 where they resolved to push for a Sh1.5 million pension for each of them, among other benefits. The former civic leaders have termed a petition tabled before the Senate for their Sh18billion send-off package, a deserved win. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Some of the former councillors who met at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, Nairobi, on September 15, 2015 where they resolved to push for a Sh1.5 million pension for each of them, among other benefits. The former civic leaders have described as a deserved win a petition tabled before the Senate for a Sh18 billion send-off package. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SILAS APOLLO
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Former councillors have described as a deserved win a petition tabled before the Senate for a Sh18 billion send-off package for them.

The Senate Labour Committee had on Tuesday recommended the payoff to the former civic leaders to cater for their welfare. This is since a majority received inconsistent salaries during their tenure in office.

The councillors, speaking during a meeting in Kisumu on Thursday, asked Senators not to disappoint them and instead approve the petition to pave way for the payments they termed also termed as their lifeline.

In their petition to the Senate last year, the 12,000 councillors each want a one-off gratuity payment of Sh1.5 million, Sh30,000 monthly stipend and free parking lots among other demands.

The quest has, however, received opposition from a section of leaders and Kenyans who have termed it unnecessary expenditure which could run public coffers dry.

Mr Tom Mboya, national councillors’ secretary-general said they also want to be recognised and allowed to attend Assembly sessions in their jurisdictions.

This, Mr Mboya argues was since the former councillors, who served between 1963 and March 2013, are to be credited for the existing systems of the defunct local authorities currently enjoyed by the county governments.

“During our time, we were never paid salaries. We were only given a small stipend to come to work,” he said.

Senate Labour Committee chairman Stewart Madzayo, tabling the report in the House after listening to the grievances of the ex-civic leaders, said they deserved payments because many of them had served the country since independence.

“A one-off honorarium of Sh1.5 million should be paid to former councillors. This is based on the fact that they did not receive fixed emoluments and experienced disparities in accessibility and terms and conditions of pension schemes over the years,” said the committee.

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