Parliamentary Service Commission to now pay lawyers Sh55m

By Alphonce Shiundu

Nairobi, Kenya: Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has said the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) will have to pay the Sh55 million to lawyers who represented the National Assembly and the Senate in the Supreme Court.

The lawyers were representing the two Houses of Parliament in a case regarding the sharing of revenue between the national government and the 47 county governments.

The climb-down on the payout to the lawyers appears to be informed by the resolution of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, which ordered the PSC to pay the lawyers the money, but surcharge the Senate.

However, the Speaker did not mention anything about the proposed surcharge. He only said the matter will have to be addressed.

“We may have to pay, because the way the lawyers were engaged has been questioned by the committees of the House, but nevertheless, the lawyers did their work and we have to pay,” said Muturi.

Speaking to The Standard from his office, Mr Muturi said PSC had agreed to issue a warning to all the lawmakers in the bicameral Parliament that going forward, where there’s a dispute, Parliament will use its own lawyers to go to the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion.

Litigation director

“The Directorate of Litigation and Compliance will be the one to go to the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion. The speakers of the two Houses will agree on the matters to be determined, and then the directorate, which is under the Joint Services for both Houses will proceed to court. There’s no need to hire external lawyers,” said Muturi.

“The Director of the Legal Office in the National Assembly (Jeremiah Ndombi) is a man who applies his mind. We argue here and I really enjoy it.  With such robust departments, why should we go to private lawyers if we just want an opinion,” posed Muturi.

The Speaker said if he had his way, the request from the Senate to procure lawyers in the case of the Division of Revenue Bill would not have been allowed.