By Ben Leshau
Narok County Assembly has dismissed a recent report by the Controller of Budget which revealed that its Ward representatives were the highest paid in the country with each taking home an average of Sh700,000 monthly.
According to the report, an MCA in Narok took home an average of Sh 765,635 up from Sh328,757 in the previous financial year followed by Taita Taveta Sh722,292 and Machakos Sh719,867.
The CoB report indicated that the income was pegged on salaries, mileage, airtime and per diem claims and other expenses including local and foreign trips.
Last week, Narok MCAs led by the Leader of Majority Benard Torome and the Budget Committee Chair Moses Samante rubbished the report terming it as an ‘exaggerated propaganda’ aimed at tarnishing the assembly’s reputation.
“We are perturbed by the recent report from the Controller of Budget claiming that we get Sh25,000 per day. That is outrageous!,” fumed Mr Torome.
He said contrary to the report indicating that the MCAs were filthy rich, majority of them are paupers and they are even pushing for an increase of their budgetary allocations.
“We are the people on the ground and if there is a group whose salaries and allowances should be increased, it is us. We do not have money as claimed and those in doubts should come check on our records,” he added.
Samante who heads the budget committee at the assembly said the report failed to take into consideration the fact that the MCAs also have staff whom they pay salaries.
“On average MCAs have at least three to four staff members such as secretaries, personal assistants and other support staff. I guess the report included all of them to come up with the over Sh700,000 monthly pay for individual MCAs,” said the Ildamat Ward Rep.
Mr Samante who is also County Assemblies Forum Chair, Narok Chapter said the report will put them in an awkward situation because the electorate will now view them as mean despite earning hefty perks.
He said: “We normally get at least 144,000 net salary and some of us have loans which them with as low as Sh20,000 or even less. We are now in a fix because the electorate will be on our necks thinking we deny them money yet we get a lot.”