‘Imagine this is their payslip for month of August buana.’ Social media post sparks debate on Kenya prison officers’ salary

A social media post showing an online payslip of a prison officer in Kenya has sparked a heated debate on the living conditions and welfare of the wardens. The post, written in a mix of English and Swahili, expressed shock and sympathy for the low take-home pay of the officer, who works for the State Department for Prisons. The payslip showed that the officer earned 13,000 Kenyan shillings (about $120) for the month of August, after deductions for taxes, loans, and other expenses.

The post, which was accompanied by a confused face and a facepalm emoji, read: “Lakini you guys I was having a Conversation with a friend who works for gov’t and I felt a sharp excruciating pain manze. Imagine this is their payslip for month of August buana. Yaani take home ni 13K ” (But you guys I was having a conversation with a friend who works for the government and I felt a sharp excruciating pain man. Imagine this is their payslip for the month of August brother. That is to say take home is 13K).


The post attracted hundreds of comments from netizens, some of whom expressed outrage and disbelief at the low salary, while others defended the government and argued that the officer should be grateful for having a job. Some also questioned the authenticity of the payslip and suggested that it might be fake or edited.

According to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), prison officers in Kenya earn between 16,890 and 55,110 Kenyan shillings per month, depending on their rank and job group. The SRC implemented a new salary scale for the prison service in 2020, following a recommendation by the Public Service Commission (PSC). The new grading system resulted in a pay increase ranging from 6% to 19% and synchronized prison pay with that of the National Police Service (NPS).

The Kenya Prisons Service is a government institution that is responsible for maintaining law and order, rehabilitating offenders, and providing correctional services. The service has over 20,000 officers who work in various prisons across the country.

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