Uhuru Kenyatta finally takes 20pc pay cut - Daily Nation

Uhuru Kenyatta finally takes 20pc pay cut

Monday January 19 2015

Salaries and Remuneration Commission boss Ms Sarah Serem. Civil servants in Tharaka Constituency want the commission to approve payment of hardship allowance seven years since it was declared hardship area. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Salaries and Remuneration Commission boss Ms Sarah Serem. Civil servants in Tharaka Constituency want the commission to approve payment of hardship allowance seven years since it was declared hardship area. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAMUEL KARANJA
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By ABIUD OCHIENG
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President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have taken a 20 per cent pay cut each that they pledged last year.

Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairperson Sarah Serem on Monday said an account had been opened to hold the funds accruing from the reduction of the two leaders and parastatal heads’ pay.

Mrs Serem, who spoke on the sidelines of a forum on the proposed public wage bill policy, said her team wanted the funds used for development.

“I won’t be able to tell you how much it is but an account has been opened for that purpose.”

Several parastatal chiefs had written to the commission requesting to have their salaries reduced, she said, but did not reveal the amount they had volunteered to give up.

She said while there was no policy or law to guide the matter, a written consent was necessary.

Last March, the President and Mr Ruto said they would lead the way in having their salaries reduced to help lower the public wage bill, which now stands at 12 per cent of the GDP.

Mr Kenyatta said Cabinet secretaries and parastatal chiefs would take a 10 per cent cut.

By September 20, senior government employees, excluding the President and his deputy, had authorised the SRC to deduct money from their salaries.

They include Senate Majority leader Kithure Kindiki, who surrendered 20 per cent, and Cabinet Secretaries Michael Kamau (Transport) and James Macharia (Health), who each instructed the SRC to take 10 per cent from their pay.

Meanwhile, the Transition Authority has joined its employees in challenging the reduction of their salaries.

Last week, 44 county transition coordinators filed a case protesting Mrs Serem’s team’s decision to reduce their pay. They accused the commission of slashing their net incomes by nearly half.

In a separate application filed in the High Court, the authority argues that it determined the remuneration of its staff following a resolution of its board after the SRC failed to provide timely advice on the matter.

It claimed the salary reduction was unconstitutional and would be amount to victimising its employees.

However, Lady Justice Ngugi ordered that the authority’s application be heard today in the Industrial Court, saying it was an employer-employee dispute.