This may be a sensible move to end pay discrepancies or it could be seen as a reward for graft and institutionalised corruption. KS

Nation

Allowances for city askaris aimed at ending corruption

Nairobi has introduced a special allowance for city askaris to stem bribe-taking.

City Council Askaris during the Operation Clamp Down Nairobi City along Koinange Street , Nairobi on July 31,2013. FILE PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Nairobi has introduced a special allowance for city askaris to stem bribe-taking under an ambitious reform plan that will also see the security officials accorded ranks similar to the police force.

Chief security officer Francis Munyambu said the operation allowance was agreed on last month and would be paid through the officials’ payslips.

The askaris have been accused of seeking bribes from motorists, hawkers and those arrested for breaching county by-laws.

“It will go a long way to motivate the officers to perform their work without expecting any form of gift, without harassment and employing the culture of being ‘servant of the people’,” Mr Munyambu said.

The 2,333 county security officers constitute about 16 per cent of City Hall’s personnel and the new allowance is expected to put pressure on the ballooning wage bill that stood at Sh10.3 billion in the year to June, accounting for 58 per cent of the county’s Sh17.8 billion spending.

The security workers were paid Sh1.9 billion, nearly a fifth of Nairobi’s wage bill. The City’s traffic marshals, whose rank is equivalent to that of low ranking security officials, had a basic salary of between Sh25,000 and Sh30,000 per month. Nation