By Magdalene Mukami
A special commission on Monday slashed the salaries of Kenya’s president and his deputy, as well as Cabinet officers, parliamentary deputies, and military chiefs, in a bid to save 8.8 billion Kenyan shillings ($84.7 million) annually.
Making the announcement, Sarah Serem, who heads the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, added that some allowances -- in some cases, worth almost as much as the salaries themselves -- have also been removed.
“We have removed some of the allowances that are prone to abuses,” she said, adding that special parliamentary allowances including the sitting allowance had also been abolished.
As the move comes less than a month before the president and parliament will have to face voters in national elections on Aug. 8, President Uhuru Kenyatta and lawmakers are unlikely to object to the new, lower salaries.
A 2013 study co-authored by the IMF found that legislators from the East African nation are the second-highest paid lawmakers in the world.
The revised system will see Kenya's president and his deputy earn a monthly gross equivalent of $13,461 and $11,538 respectively, down from $15,865 and $13,461 with immediate effect. The nation’s 249 MP and senators will also receive $5,971, down from the $6,826 that they have been earning.