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Huge pay gaps in counties as SRC sits on report




DETAILS have emerged of glaring salary disparities among counties’ staff, even as the Salaries and Remuneration Committee sits on a report that could go a long way to bridge the gaps.

The Star has established various cadres — especially in the health sector — are worlds apart in terms of pay, despite similar academic qualifications.

Human resource experts warn the huge salary and allowance gaps could fuel strikes as workers push for enhanced pay.

Pay structures obtained by the Star from select health sector workers reveal details of the pay discrepancies, with certain staff cadres earning twice the monthly gross salary of their colleagues.

Staff with diploma qualifications, regardless of the sector, join the service at job group H but their salaries and allowances differ significantly.

For instance, a nurse joining with a diploma starts with a basic salary of Sh23,780, while a civil, mechanical or electrical technician earns Sh24,380 monthly basic salary.

The nurses also pocket a Sh10,000 annual uniform allowance. They are currently agitating for that allowance to be increased to Sh25,000, as negotiated in their CBA in 2017.

However, while the engineers at diploma level pocket a Sh3,200 housing allowance and Sh4,000 commuter allowance, the nurses receive an array of enhanced allowances.

Veterinary officers with diploma qualifications earn a basic salary of Sh24,000 and Sh3,200 and Sh4,000 as house and commuter allowances, respectively. The gross monthly pay for veterinary, electrical, mechanical and civil technicians is Sh31,000.

Nurses and clinical officers receive other allowances over and above what their counterparts earn.

They are entitled to Sh20,000 extraneous allowance, Sh20,000 practicing allowance and Sh3,850 risk allowance. They also get commuter allowance of Sh4,000 and house allowance of Sh3,200.

This means that a diploma holder nurse or clinical officer earns about Sh74,830 per month, more than twice what their technician colleagues take home.

A graduate engineer and architect earns a monthly basic salary of Sh35,260, a housing allowance of Sh7,500 and a commuter allowance of Sh5,000.

This brings their monthly gross pay to Sh47,760, a far cry from what nurses and clinical officers take home.

Further compounding the pay disparities, a laboratory technician holding a diploma enters the service at job group H with a starting pay of Sh23,780.

They are entitled to a house allowance of Sh3,200, commuter allowance of Sh4,000 and risk allowance of Sh3,850.

If the 2017 Collective Bargain Agreement between the Kenya Union of Nurses and the counties is implemented, the nursing allowance will increase to Sh30,000, up from Sh20,000 and the uniform allowance will be pegged at Sh25,000 a month.

Tabulations by the SRC show that the nursing allowance alone will cost counties Sh2.9 billion and the national government Sh146 million to implement the CBA.

The uniform allowance ill cost counties Sh365 million, while the state will spend Sh383 million.

Apart from medical officer, specialists, and dentists, the other cadre of health officers includes nurses, clinical officers, dental technologists, oral health workers, public health technicians, pharmacy technologists, laboratory technologists, orthopaedic technologists, nutritionists, radiologists and physiotherapists.

Others are occupational therapists, health record technicians, plaster technicians, medical engineers and engineering technicians and community health workers.

Despite the blatant pay disparities, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission that conducted a job evaluation to harmonise the salaries and allowances is delaying on its final report.

The SRC, mandated to set and review salaries and benefits of all civil servants, was expected to release the report a few weeks ago but it was shelved under unclear circumstances.


The report is considered key in addressing pay disparities among county staff following the latest nurses’ strike. It is feared a ripple-effect could paralyse the counties.

The Labour and Industrial Court suspended the nurses strike for 60 days, pending conciliatory efforts between the nurses’ union and labour experts appointed by Labour CS Ukur Yattani.

The Star is informed the SRC held a stormy crisis meeting with the Council of Governors on Tuesday. It was meant to discuss the withheld report, which recommends sweeping changes.

That meeting informed the SRC’s decision to ask counties not to strike any pay increment deals without SRC input.

The SRC warned that unstructured awards of salary and other allowances is not sustainable and could lead to disharmony and a spiralling across the sector.

“As a result of the continuous clamour for enhancement of allowances, nurses are currently remunerated higher than comparable grades within the public service,” the SRC said in a statement.

Read: SRC job evaluation reveals counties top in number of skilled jobs

“Consequently, payment of the above allowances will result in inequity in terms of remuneration for comparable jobs in the health sector and in the entire public service. This may give rise to demands for harmonisation within the health sector and possibly the entire public service, further pushing up the public wage bill,” the SRC said.

During Tuesday’ meeting, the SRC is said to have accused some governors of entering into binding pay deals with employees without involving it, in what it said could soon spark a nationwide spreading of demands.

It is said the SRC was categorically against any pay hikes, considering ongoing salary harmonisation as well as the country’s ballooning wage bill of more than Sh600 billion annually.

An SRC commissioner, speaking on condition of anonymity, said some of the allowances for staff working at the counties were illegal.

“This is what we are grappling with as a commission. We are concerned counties introduced irregular allowances especially for nurses for political reasons,” he said.

He warned, “What is happening in the health sector is messy. There is political games going on that could impact negatively on job evaluation. Counties must know that when they give in to nurses they should prepare for a ripple effect from other cadres of employees.”

Yesterday CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya protested against delay in releasing the job evaluation report by the SRC, saying failure to conclude the document in time has triggered pay increase demands among county workers.

“The SRC has been dillydallying with this report. It is important that it is realised so salaries are harmonised across all county employees,” Oparanya said.

“All county staff must have all salaries and allowances harmonised with other employees, according to the SRC requirements. As counties we don’t set salaries and benefits for our employees. That’s the SRC’s work,” he said.

Chairman for the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Peterson Wachira yesterday admitted there are glaring pay disparities at the counties, saying his union would call a strike if CBA negotiations don’t not resume.

“It is true there are disparities. Some staff inherited from local authorities earn more than those who joined county governments. There are huge discrepancies in the allowances that must be addressed,” he told the Star.

Fears of a ripple effect have gripped the counties after clinical officers issued a 14-day strike notice if CBA talks stall.

Also Read: SRC asks counties to tame huge wage bill

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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’




Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –




Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised


“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard




Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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