Parliament on Wednesday discussed the plight of village elders making proposals on how they may be remunerated by the government with desirable packages.
Village elders will be earning like other public administrators as soon as the change of law is implemented.
The MPs want the elders to be put on the public payroll, lamenting that they have been neglected for a long time despite their contribution to governance.
Important contributions of the village elder that were noted included aid in dispute resolution and facilitation of national government services like the promotion of education, and handling of security issues via initiatives like Nyumba Kumi, among others.
The proposed packages, other than regular salary, are set to include provisions of free NHIF cover, uniforms, and modest offices in their respective areas of work.
The motion was tabled in the National Assembly by the MP for Tharaka, George Murugara.
It called for the implementation of policy measures on the issue that will also outline the means and mechanisms of recruiting village elders.
“Acknowledging the need to appreciate and motivate these village elders for the services rendered is important,” stated Murugara.
Other MPs who supported and spoke on the matter included Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache North), John Mwirigi (Igembe South), Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza) and Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini) said elders play an important role and ought to be appreciated.
Other parliamentarians that were vocal and supportive about the subject matter included David Ole Sankok (nominated), Erick Muchangi (Runyenjes), Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira MP) and Alfred Agoi (Sabatia).
MP Angwenyi communicated that having the village elders on pay was long overdue.
Sankok described the current arrangement between the government and the village elders as modern-day slavery.
“We have a lot of government projects in the villages. When we send people from Nairobi to supervise, it takes lots of money which could be cheaply done by these elders,” asserted Sankok.
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