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Uhuru’s Speech on Teachers’ Salaries

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On Sunday, President Uhuru Kenyatta stated that the government has no money to pay teachers the 50-60 percent pay rise that is keeping them away from school.

The President clarified that currently public wage bill is 52 percent and if the government will increase the wages for all the public servants, it will push the wage bill to 61 percent of the total government revenue.

He explained that the Teachers Service Commission in consultation with the Salaries and Renumeration Commission has engaged with KNUT and other stake holders to seek a solution to the perennial problem of teachers’ strikes. He clarified that it’s the CRC which determines teachers’ salary and not Courts.

The head of state further clarified that the government has fully settled up to 120 percent pay rise that court ordered it to pay teachers in 2010. He argued that Kenyan teachers are paid better than private school teachers. He also revealed that the neighboring countries-Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda-pay their teachers less than what Kenyan

Teachers are paid, adding that it’s only Morocco and South Africa whose economies are much higher than others, which pay much better than Kenya.

He also clarified that Supreme Court did not make any determination over the 50-60 percent award since it doesn’t have jurisdiction over the matter.

The Jubilee leader stated that the treasury has advised that paying the award will distort public finance and hurt the economy. In order to implement the pay the government will either increase VAT from 16 percent to 22 percent, borrow money or suspend critical projects in Health and Security sectors. He advised that the country must live within means if at all we intend to progress.

Finally, the head of state stated that both public and private schools will remain closed until January, only KCSE and KCPE candidates will remain in session.