Kenya Members of County Assembly (MCAs) are among the highest-paid elected members of counties in Kenya and also around the world. So how much exactly does an MCA in Kenya take home each month in terms of monthly salary and other allowances included?
The salary of an MCA in Kenya totals up to over 100,000, and additionally, every member of the county assembly is entitled to monthly allocations ranging from medical allowances, sitting allowances, mileage, airtime perks and house allowances, just to mention but a few. Besides the hefty allowances, each MCA is entitled to, Members of County assemblies were recently given a car grant by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The pay structure of MCAs, Teachers, Civil Servants, MPs, Senators and other civil servants in Kenya is defined by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRS). According to the new salary scales that were released by the Kenya Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC). A Kenyan MCAs is currently entitled to a monthly salary of KSh. 165,000, Sh. 5,000 for airtime, sitting allowance of up to Sh. 5,000 per session, monthly mileage allocation of Sh. 39,800 for intra-county journeys, as well as per diems for local and foreign trips.
This brings the monthly benefits and salaries offered to Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) to have for the first time struck the Sh. 500,000 mark, highlighting the taxpayer’s burden of keeping the ward representatives comfortable.
2019 Data from the Controller of Budget in Kenya shows that MCAs’ average salary, allowances and other benefits rose to over Sh. 547,146 up from Sh451,827 in a similar period a year earlier – reflecting a 21 per cent increase in their pay. This may explain why the MCA position is one of the most sought-after elective positions in Kenya every five years.
The SRC had, in July of 2017, cut the monthly payment of MCAs to Sh. 144,375 cancelled the monthly mileage and sitting allowances and lowered per diem rates, attracting protests from the MCAs. The high court would later reinstate the payments of the MCAs to the initial figures.
Kenya has a total of about 2,242 Members of county assemblies extended out in the 47 counties.
Breakdown of MCA salary and allowances in Kenya
- Monthly salary—KES165,000
- Monthly airtime—KES5,000
- Sitting allowance—KES 5,000 per session
- Monthly mileage allowance—KES39,800
- Per diem of local and foreign travel-KES150,000 per month on average
While the MCA earn a hefty amount monthly, the allowances entitled to each MCA vary depending on many factors. This means that MCAs do not take home uniform pay at the end of the month.
Nationally, Narok county ward representatives received the highest benefits in the country, with each MCA costing the county an average of upward of Sh765,635 a month, ahead of Taita Taveta county MCAs (Sh722,292) and Machakos county (Sh719,867). The Least paid MCAs in Kenya are Bungoma MCAs, with an average benefit of KES270,005 a month, trailing their Narok county counterparts three times.
Roles and duties of a Member of County Assembly in Kenya
- To maintain a close connection with the electorate and also consults them on important matters before or under discussion in the County Assembly.
- To present opinions, views, and proposals of the electorate to the County Assembly;
- To attend parliament sessions of the County Assembly and its various committees;
- To provides a connection between the county assembly and the electorate on public service delivery; and
- To extend their professional knowledge, experience, or other specialized knowledge to a topic for discussion in the County Assembly.
- An MCA should not directly or indirectly be involved in the executive functions of the County Government and also its administration; or in the delivery of essential services as if the Member in question were an officer or an employee of the County Government.
That said, underdone, and it is fine to note that the MCA position is a ward elective position with each term serving five years as specified in the Kenyan constitution.
Qualifications to vie for the MCA position
Here are the main qualifications that one must meet to be able to vie for an MCA position in Kenya
- Unless disqualified under clause
- A person is qualified to vie for election as a member of a county assembly (MCA) if the person is;
- Registered as a voter in Kenya;
- Satisfies and meets any academic, moral, and ethical requirements prescribed by the Constitution or an Act of Parliament; and
- is either –
(i) Nominated by a political party in Kenya; or
(ii) An independent candidate backed by at least five hundred registered voters in the ward concerned.
- A person will be disqualified from being elected a member of a county assembly if the individual;
- Is a State officer or other government officer other than a member of the county assembly;
- Has, at any time within the last five years immediately before the set date of the election, held an office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission;
- Has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least the 10 years immediately preceding the date of the election;
- Is of unsound mind;
- Is an undischarged bankrupt;
- Is serving a jail sentence of imprisonment of at least six months; or
- Has been found, in accordance with any applicable law, to have misused or have abused a State office or public office or to have contravened Chapter Six.
- A person is not disqualified under the clause.
- Unless all possibility of court appeal or review of the relevant sentence or a decision has been exhausted.