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Friday, 3 May 2013

Why Sarah Serem Team Must Be Protected

The plot by Mps in the 11th Parliament to send home (disband) the Sarah Serem Commission {Salaries and Remuneration Commission} is the fullest manifestation of impunity as well practiced in Kenya over time.

I am one person who believes our law-makers should be paid well so that they concentrate on the general good of Kenyans and not sell our Country to those who have cash.
However, Kenyans from all walks of life complained of the trend adopted over the years by our Parliamentarians who could double, triple or do anything they want (upwards of-course) with their salaries at will. 

This is the only Country where an employee would be allowed to adjust his/her salaries without any checks whatsoever. So the coming of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission was God-send to Kenyans, since we had hoped that every caliber of Kenyans Public servants would be subjected to professional job evaluation and compensated commensurable to their level of responsibility. It is in this sense that I cannot accept our Parliamentarians bullying the SRC; leave alone disbanding it.

Having said this, I believe the Sarah Serem led Commission did a good job at the beginning but allowed themselves to be un-duly influenced into salary reduction without any strong basis. I remember last year after the job evaluation of top-Public Servants by the Price-waterhouse Coopers, the commission set MPs & Senators salaries at Kshs. 700,000+ and that of County Reps at Kshs 200,000+. 

This commission then went round the Country and did what they call "Public involvement" after which they drastically reduced these salaries to Kshs. 541,000 and 79,000 respectively. Actually they lowered the Head of States Salary to much less that the Chair of the Commission fo the Implementation of the Constitution. You will be ashamed to relate the salaries of Governors, Cabinet Secretaries, County executive Committees, Commissions, etc; I don't know what will happen when they get to teachers and messengers in govt. offices.

In my opinion, Job evaluation can only be done by professionals and not lay-farmers in my village. For me the Commission's un-professionalism started here.

Now how do we cure this;
The government has complained of a very constrained wage bill in our Country.
With this in mind, Kenyans must go back to the drawing board and access the necessity of the Bi-cameral system of legislature that we overwhelmingly voted for in the New Constitution.

My suggestion if this.
1. We scrap off the National Assembly and transfer their roles to the Senate. Transfer the 47 Women Representatives to the Senate and nominate 10 special group representatives to the Senate. we demand that Senators be of sound academic qualification.

2. We strengthen the County Assembly and compensate County Representatives well, equip them sufficiently and demand that they be of certain minimum qualification or exemplary track record in various areas of the country's economic and social affairs that would enable them be able to propose sound legislation that would be beneficial to the County and by extension the Counties as a whole.

3. We compensate the Senate, the County Assembly, the Governors, the Cabinet secretaries, and the County Executive Committees handsomely so as to attract the best of minds and result in quick dispensation of their duties.

4. We strengthen the Salary and Remuneration Committee and make it high-level professional so as to make very sound judgement that be defended professionally at any given point. Provide them with necessary Financial Resources and tools that would allow the to carry out their work to the expectation.

5. We demand of our elected leaders quick results which if not provided, we can recall them at the earliest possible opportunities; just like we ordinary Kenyans can be fired by our employers when they are convinced that our performance is below expectation.

Kenya is really rich; if the 30% of Revenue that is lost in corruption and the many cases of tax evasion Atwoli listed on May 1 can be sealed; we definitely would finance our Institutions and move this Country forward like is the dream of all Kenyans.

May god Bless Kenya! and the people of Kenya!!
Courtesy of Hillary Ghai.

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