By PAMELA CHEPKEMEI
Kenya: Members of Parliament will continue earning salaries set by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission after the High Court in Nairobi extended orders stopping any increments.
Justice Isaac Leanola, who extended the orders yesterday, notified the parties during the mention of the case that Chief Justice Willy Mutunga had appointed three-judge Bench to hear the petition.
The case will be handled by judges Lenaola, Mumbi Ngugi and Weldon Korir. The hearing will commence on July 11.
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Lenaola directed all the parties in the case to file their written submissions.
The case had been forwarded to the CJ to name a Bench of judges to determine it.
Two cases challenging the increment of MPs salaries were filed separately by the Law Society of Kenya and activist Okiya Omtatah, but Justice David Majanja, who issued the initial orders stopping the Parliamentary Service Commission from paying higher salaries to MPs, consolidated the cases.
Majanja issued interim orders in favour of LSK stopping the PSC from paying the MPs different salaries other than that set by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission — Sh532,000 per month. However, the MPs have complained the amount is inadequate and want their monthly salaries increased to Sh850,000.
Majanja, while issuing the interim orders, said there is likelihood the nullification of gazette notices issued by SRC on MPs’ salaries is likely to be affected with serious consequences.
The judge said State and public authorities should not be permitted to proceed and implement decisions that violate the Constitution and on the other hand the mandate of the constitutional commissions should be protected from erosion by the Legislature.
LSK wants the court to declare that the salaries set by SRC are the lawful remunerations for MPs.
The society says the Parliamentary Service Commission has no constitutional mandate to pay the news salaries and remuneration of MPs but only enforce the Kenya Gazette notices of salaries issued by SRC.
Omtatah in the petition also argues the MPs violated the Constitution and encroached on the mandate of the Judiciary when they revoked the notices issued by SRC and set new salaries for themselves.