Nakuru County Assembly closed as MCAs push for better pay

Nakuru County Assembly has been closed as MCAs boycotted sittings over the push for better remuneration.

The 75-member House on Tuesday, unanimously passed a motion to adjourn the assembly indefinitely, in a bid to air their grievances.

This means the majority 55 MCAs allied to President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance(UDA) defied a directive by Secretary General Cleophas Malala to keep off boycott of assembly sittings, in  the push for better pay.

The Nakuru County Assembly comprises 55 UDA MCAs out of the total 75, with 39 elected and 16 nominated.

In his letter to the Leaders of Majority in the assemblies last week, Mr Malala directed all the Kenya Kwanza affiliated county assemblies to cease being parties to decisions by ‘third parties.’

Mr Malala directed the house leadership to ensure the directive was adhered to and to report any MCA who contravened it.

However, Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja on Tuesday said they decided to suspend their sittings in solidarity with the county assemblies across the country, in agitation for better remuneration and terms of work.

Mr Karanja who is also the Secretary General of the Association of the MCAs lamented that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission has continued to ignore their concerns which has inconvenienced their operations.

According to Mr Karanja, the MCAs want the government to address their five issues in the list of their grievances before they can resume the sittings.

These include reinstatement of their salaries to Sh165,000, establishment of the affirmative funds for the Ward Reps and improved reimbursements as well as pensions.

Mr Karanja argues that it has been difficult for the MCAs to sustain themselves with their current salaries due to the increased cost of living.

He argues that there is need for ward kitty to enable the MCAs fulfill their pledges to their electorates.

“It is a pity that MCAs have been taking home only Sh 34,000 since the SCR reviewed our salaries downwards. this is not sustainable and we call upon them to reinstate it back to where it was,” said Mr Karanja.

Olkaria ward MCA Peter Palanga emphasized that the ward reps only want the reinstatement of their salaries and not pay rise.

Oversight fund

He lamented that the senate has already appropriated the Senate oversight fund while neglecting the MCA.

“We need to operate from the same constitution and the law must be applied equally. We need to have an independent assembly just like the national assembly and the senate, “said Mr palanga.

He warned that the county risks shutting down should the status quo remain, noting that the budget proposals are yet to be passed as well as the county development plans.

He called upon the governors to support them in their push.

The assembly majority leader Alex Langat who spoke to the nation confirmed that the MCAs had indeed agreed to pass a motion to adjourn the assembly.

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