Court orders SRC to factor in Deputy Governor's house allowances

Taxpayers will shoulder the burden of paying 47 deputy governors Sh366 million every year.

This is after the High Court yesterday ruled that the Salary and Remuneration Commission’s failure to factor in the leaders’ house allowances was discriminatory.

On average, county chiefs’ deputies will walk away with Sh650,000 every month.

Justice Chacha Mwita found that deputy governors are state officers hence deserve equal treatment by the commission.

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“Deputy Governors have a right as state officers for their salaries and allowances to be reviewed. I observe that the law should be observed and applied equally to all regardless of their status,” ruled Justice Mwita.

The case stems from 2016 when SRC notified the Council of Governors (CoG), that deputy governors would not get house allowances as their role was not defined by the law. CoG moved to court arguing that the leaders expected to get the allowances unless they resided in their own houses. “Denying them the right to housing benefits is denying them the enjoyment of the right to expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and fair administrative action,” claimed COG.

The council wanted the court to issue a declaration that denying deputy governors their rights to housing benefits is discriminatory and unfair.

On August 6, 2015, CoG requested the commission to provide housing allowance after discovering some had been left out. However, the commission replied that the law does not provide for allowances for the deputies. SRC argued that allowing the leaders to have the extra money would affect the wage bill. SRC held that it had increased deputy governors’ salaries from Sh400,000 to 700,000. But Justice Mwita ruled that labour laws required that employees should get allowances as part of their salaries. When the allowance is added, it means each deputy will take home at least Sh1.3 million.

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Taxpayers47 deputy governorsSalary and Remuneration CommissionHigh CourtJustice Chacha MwitaCoG