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SRC approves Sh4.5 billion Ward Representatives car grant

By Emeka Mayaka
Wednesday, February 10th, 2021
Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairperson Lynn Mengich. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG
In summary

Emeka-Mayaka Gekara

Ward Reps and Speakers of County Assemblies have a reason to smile after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission approved the Sh4.5 billion car grant they have been demanding.

In a letter to the newly-elected Council  of Governors  chairman Martin Wambora, the commission said  its decision was aimed to ensure fairness and a commitment that the figure will not affect county budgets.

President Uhuru Kenyatta two weeks ago yielded to pressure from  Ward Reps from the Mt Kenya region and promised them a Sh2 million car grant each after they made it a condition for passing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill.

Uhuru’s car grant offer was seconded by ODM leader Raila Odinga, who while meeting MCAs from Nyanza region, said the representatives had a right to enjoy the privilege.  

The commission was responding to a letter by the CoG laying the case for the grants.

Each Ward Rep will receive Sh2 million as car grant.

“In your  submission,  the  COG has  articulated   the  similarity   in  the   representation  and legislative  role of the  Speaker and Member of the County Assembly at the  ward level with their counterparts  at the National Assembly, who have a “Car Grant” facility. 

Legislative role

In this regard, the COG asserts that it is only fair to extend the same benefit to the Speaker and Member of the County Assembly,” said the commission in  signed by  its chairperson, Lynn Mengich.

“The SRC takes cognisance of the similarity  of the roles of the legislators at the county and national  levels.

It should  be noted  that  the  category  of  benefits  to  the  legislators at  the county  and national  levels are similar, with  the  exception  of Transport  Facilitation  Benefit “Car Grant” that is provided to the legislators at the national level,”   read part of the letter

 The car grants are likely to be major bait for the Ward Reps as the Uhuru and Raila  rally support for the BBI  Bill which has been sent to County Assemblies for initial ratification.

Deputy President William Ruto’s allies who have been preaching against the document that proposes radical constitutional changes, have accused the two BBI principals of bribing Ward Reps as a way of seducing them to support it.

The commission was persuaded by an argument by the COG, that the Ward Reps were entitled to car loans worth Sh4.5 billion and which only needed to be converted to grants. 

The council also argued that the cash was available and factored in county budgets.

Each MCA is entitled to a Sh2 million car loan. 

“The SRC has taken into account the COG’s confirmation of availability  of Sh4.5 billion to convert the Car Loan facility  to a Car Grant and that no additional funds will be required for the conversion,” said the commission in the letter dated February 9.

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