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Councillors perks hiked

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

The government has revised conditions of service for ward councillors and other council members by hiking their honorarium and general allowances.

In a revised document prepared by Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in March 2019, each councillor will be getting honoraria of K100,000 per month, up from K80,000, while each City Mayor, Vice Mayor and municipal council mayor will be pocketing from a range of K135,000 to K150,000 per month.

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The councillors will also be entitled to a sitting allowance ranging from K15,000 to K25,000, up from K7,000 and K10,000 per sitting for either council or service committee meetings.

The new councillors for all categories will also be paid new gratuity of K1.5 million, up from K500,000 and a motorcycle loan of K1.5 million from K1 million.

According to the ministry, the changes are intended to improve service delivery in the councils and make the councillors’ office attractive and competitive locally and comparable internationally.

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“Experience from other countries has shown that councillors are effective because they are well remunerated and, in some areas, their allowances and salaries are provided for in their countries’ legislation which governs operation of local governments,” part of the document reads.

It further says the change is meant to provide adequate incentives that respond to the depreciation of the country’s currency overtime.

“The rates of honoraria and allowances paid to councillors 10 years ago cannot sustain the same activities now,” it reads.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Mughlabase Mughogho, confirmed the development.

“Changes have been effected as part of the revision of conditions of service. [This has been done] in order to ensure that governance and development structure of the local authorities is effectively functional,” she said.

The May 21 tripartite elections ushered into office 462 councillors.

The hike in the councillors’ perks comes as reports indicate that the newly elected members of Parliament will, each, be getting K48 million vehicle loan, up from K24 million and there are also discussions aimed at having their salaries upped from K2.2 million to K2.5 million.

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