Voice of Sport

Scandalous: Sarah Serem pays Wanyama Sh750 a day, Spurs Sh9m a week

Sarah Serem’s scheme is simply ridiculous; scandalous pay for ‘Wananchi’ who have to collaborate with Government. Kenyans outside the Public Service, when they work for Government, should not be subjected to the abusive Salaries and Remuneration Commission

Shocking disparity: Kenya national soccer team skipper Victor Wanyama whose team has now gone a dozen games without defeat earns, by Government structures, Sh750 a day for his troubles. In England, for his club Tottenham Hotspur, his salary for seven day’s work is Sh 9 million!

THERE is a Kenya Government agency called Salaries Remuneration [SRC] headed by a famous and often infamous Sarah Serem. It can drive people from the private sector — who once-in-a-while have to rub shoulders with Government, when doing business or providing services — mad.The Mummy film download

Take Kenya’s most premier footballer, Victor Wanyama. He earns 70,000 pounds [Sh9, 325, 993]; yes, shillings NINE million a week! When he comes to play for Harambee Stars, because in Sarah Serem’s view Wanyama rates lowest in the working cadre of Kenyans, Serem pays Wanyama Sh750 a day; just like a person contracted to pick up litter or clean the latrine.

Wanyama does not feature anywhere on the Government’s job rankings. Presumably, in the Government scheme of things, his job, pertaining to duty for Harambee Stars, falls under the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts; and the highest paid [top dog] here would also presumably be Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario. The pecking order in terms of pay would then trickle down to Principal Secretary, and then, blah, blah, down according to their structure.

Harambee Stars players take a breather in between a past training session

Harambee Stars’ skipper Victor Wanyama (left) and his fellow  players take a breather in between a past training session

Where does the Mwananchi stand, if occasionally he has to work for Government, providing semi-permanent services? For instance, when you are permanent member of a national football team engaged for significant number of days in a year for periods sometimes longer than those served in the Public Service by Cabinet and Principal secretaries?

Sarah Serem was completely thoughtless about anybody other than those in the Public Service when arriving at remuneration and allowances for Kenyans. She never took into account that her docket would one day need to think about Victor Wanyama;  and many other sportsmen and women, who sacrifice loss of income and valuable time to represent their country on sporting duty for sometimes very long periods at,  say,  international fixtures , African Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Olympic Games. Is, surely, Sh750 a day only what this country can afford to pay Victor Wanyama? Why does this young man even think of suffering that abuse?

Salaries and Remuneration Commission [SRC] head Sarah Serem … decides that Victor Wanyama should earn Sh750 a day

Salaries and Remuneration Commission [SRC] head Sarah Serem … decides that Victor Wanyama should earn Sh750 a day

Cash-strapped Football Kenya Federation [FKF] as if in grotesque sympathy gives Wanyama another Sh750, to top-up for a daily allowance of Sh1, 500. That’s what Harambee Stars boys earn. And for many, even their poor local Kenyan Premier League clubs do better and struggle to at least pay like Sh2, 000 a day [plus training allowance and transport money] for a monthly salary of Sh60, 000.

Harambee Stars’ daily salary of Sh750 as provided by Sarah Serem is a national shame. The SRS must also be called out for arriving at wages, per diems and allowances that were not deeply thought about to cater for all Kenyans. Or, Kenyans outside the Public Service, when they work for Government, should be treated differently and not be subjected to the abusive treatment of Sarah Serem.

Victor Wanyama celebrates a goal for his club Tottenham Hotspur

Victor Wanyama celebrates a goal for his club Tottenham Hotspur

Apparently, the only person that matters to Serem is the one on the Government structures. But because she is entrusted with deciding salaries for others, she ought to do better.

The least Sarah Serem would have done is consulted widely outside the civil service in determining wages and allowances levels. To treat “wananachi” who have “cheo” [high position] in Government the way her system does is simply wrong. Why should Wanyama be paid as a floor cleaner and a mid-level official in Government who accompanies [often undeservedly and as a blatant ‘joy-rider’] Harambee Stars, be paid as if he was President of Kenya? Heads of committees are paid by Sarah Serem as much as Sh20, 000 for an hour’s meeting; on top of free hotel, food and transport.

Victor Wanyama (right) in defence for Spurs against Liverpool

Victor Wanyama (right) in defence for Spurs against Liverpool

Standing his ground (right) for his previous club, Southampton, in the English Premier League

Victor Wanyama standing his ground (right) for his previous club, Southampton, in the English Premier League

Meanwhile, it is baffling how Harambee Stars are paid Sh750 a day. Some inconsistency here, because, sportsmen on Commonwealth, World Championships and Olympic Games duties been known to be paid much more (although still enough).

Sarah Serem’s system can hardly be described as one of prudent controls; which guards against wastage of public funds.  In many instances it is a scheme of double paying civil servants. Public servants are paid obscene allowances to provide services they or on permanent salaries to provide.

With his brothers in his Lavington neighbourhood, Nairobi, servicing cars, right and second right at a gas station

With his brothers in his Lavington neighbourhood, Nairobi, servicing cars, right and second right at a gas station

The SRC civil servants allowances are as huge as if the recipients do not have basic salaries in the first place. The order of the day is for public servants to make sure, by hook-or-crook, that they are permanently out there on special duties, therefore ensuring double income sources throughout their Public Service lives.

Of course, when you are playing for Harambee Stars, or are a sportsmen or woman regularly in contact with Government, you come to realise that Public Servants employed to do their duty on a day-to-day routine and on permanent salary are reluctant to do that. They love assignment outside their routine desk of field jobs. The SRC allowance system, skewed in their favour and against everybody else, including Wanyama, is their cash-Cow. It’s a SCAM!