Court orders SRC not to reduce MCAs salaries

Judge Chacha Mwita at the High Court in Nairobi. [File, Standard]

MCAs have been handed a major victory after a court stopped the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) from slashing their pay.

High Court Judge Chacha Mwita yesterday issued the orders after the ward reps argued they were suffering as a result of the reduced package.

The MCAs further claimed they had been discriminated by SRC as their predecessors pocketed good salaries and allowances.

“Prayer three in the notice of motion is hereby granted until the hearing and determination of the case,” Mr Mwita ruled.

Fatter pay

The county lawmakers have joined MPs in their bid to push for fatter pay.

This threatens efforts to save taxpayers from shouldering Sh8 billion which they pocket yearly.

Consequently, MCAs will now earn Sh165,000 as basic pay up from Sh144,000, SRC had set.

This means this month alone, the taxpayer will be burdened with a Sh667 million pay bill for MPs, MCAs and governors.

Only senators, the Executive and the judicial officers have not protested reduced salary.

In the case, the MCAs argued that they were not consulted nor a job evaluation carried out by the  commission before it made the money-saving decision.

“The procedural and illegal decision continues to unduly curtail, deny and take away the rights and entitlement .... The implementation of the impugned decision will unduly undermine the due efficient operation of the 47 county assemblies and county governments,” reads the court papers.

The annual wage bill for paying 700,000 public employees, including those elected in various capacities, stands at Sh627 billion.

This accounts for half of the Government’s revenue.

But in the court case, the MCAs argued that their predecessors pocketed better perks.

Members of the National Assembly, senators and MCAs got a rude shock following the removal of claimable mileage allowances by SRC.

However, other benefits including medical scheme were not affected

“The respondent failed to take into account relevant factors including the legal, economic environment and the need to ensure equity and competitiveness in reviewing and setting remuneration to the state officers,” argued the MCAs.

Old order

The court will now settle the political question in which it can either save the taxpayer from incurring the burden or retain the old order.

SRC has already asked the court to lift the orders on MPs’ pay as it would mean they will be earning illegally and would be impossible to recover the money in the event the case is ruled in its favour.

The case will be mentioned together with the MP’s case today.