SRC approves Sh4.5 billion Ward Representatives car grant
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.
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.