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Court asked to lift orders on lawmakers' salary cut

By Kamau Muthoni | Published Thu, January 11th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 10th 2018 at 20:02 GMT +3
Outgoing Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chairperson, Sarah Serem addressing the press at her office in Nairobi. [Photo by Beverlyne Musili/Standard]

The court was on Wednesday told that members of Parliament were seeking to earn their old salary by deceit.

According to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), the lawmakers obtained temporary orders to block their pay cut by failing to disclose crucial conversations between it and the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) which were held in 2013.

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The MPs, according to SRC, would earn an illegal salary as they were aware that they would get lower pay even before they got elected. 

According to SRC, the court papers presented by MPs were not the complete story of what had happened. 

The commission now wants the court to lift the orders, saying it would be unfair for the taxpayer to shoulder the old pay, making it impossible to recover the extra money in the event the court dismissed the case.

Acting CEO Margret Njoka told the court that the salary cut was mooted in 2013 and that all parties were informed.

“In 2013, the respondent recommended a remuneration structure for the members of Parliament for the period 2013-2017 and duly informed all concerned parties that the review cycle would commence on July 1, 2013,” said Ms Njoka.

Court papers reveal that before gazetting the pay cut, SRC undertook a study on labour efficiency and dynamics, the prevailing economic situation, and the work done by MPs.

Invited public

SRC then invited the public to give its views on whether MPs' salaries and allowances ought to be reduced.

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SRC attached the replies it received on electronic mail from Kenyans who recommended that what legislators received was too high.

The lawmakers, according to the commission, were also asked to give their views on what they should earn.

“After considering all the views presented and all the matters they had been asked, the respondent, in keeping with its constitutional mandate, made its remuneration proposal to the applicant, Parliamentary Service Commission,” she said.

PSC was, however, not satisfied with the new package and wrote back to protest.

According to SRC, it replied, justifying the new pay.

The lawmakers argued in court that they were not aware of the new salary. 

ALSO READ: High court temporarily stops SRC from slashing MPs salaries