Maraga appoints three judges to determine MP's house allowance dispute

Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court David Maraga addressing locals at Hindi in Lamu County. [Maarufu Mohamed/Standard]
The push by MPs to pay themselves a hefty house allowance now lies in the hands of three High Court judges.

Chief Justice David Maraga appointed Lady Justice Pauline Nyamweya, Justice Weldon Korir and Justice John Mativo to preside over the dispute which has put Parliament at loggerheads with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

The 416 legislators from both Senate and National Assembly in April awarded themselves Sh250,000 monthly house allowance after the SRC rejected a request by the Parliamentary Service Commission to effect the payments.

The MPs also got Sh2.25 million each adding up to Sh936 million backdated to October last year when the PSC resolved to pay house allowances over and above their mortgages.

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But SRC and activist Okiya Omtata moved to court to challenge the new allowances and obtained orders stopping further payments pending the court’s determination of the dispute.

SRC argued that the PSC’s decision to set, approve and pay housing allowance to MPs was outside the constitutional structure of remuneration and benefits of all state officers, and should be declared illegal.

The commission claimed that PSC requested for approval for the house allowance in January but the request was declined on grounds that the legislators enjoy other perks including mortgage to purchase houses.

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The three-judge bench will start hearing the dispute on July 18.

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Chief Justice David MaragaLady Justice Pauline NyamweyaMP's House Allowance