High Court terms MPs' Sh3bn package illegal, orders a stop on negotiations

The ruling comes a day after the cabinet awarded public servants a Sh100bn for the salary increments slated for July.

 

A Nairobi based High Court put a halt on the process, blocking any further discussion on the matter.

High Court judge John Mativo Friday issued a temporary order to refrain the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, Parliamentary Service Commission, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai from considering, processing, advising, recommending and approving the payout.

The court has also blocked any move to facilitate the process of making payment to the MPs related to benefits and salaries sought by MPs until the case is heard and determined.

Lawyer Dismas Wambola earlier filed a lawsuit in court, arguing that the decision by the lawmakers was unconstitutional, demanding an injunction in the already kicked off process.

The court received the petition, adding that the lawyer had enough grounds to stop the move by the lawmakers.

No work, no pay

In his court papers, lawyer Wambola had argued that the lawmakers could not be paid “for what they did not at all work for.”

On the fateful day of the meeting, in which journalists were locked out, members of parliament had threatened to shoot down the 2017/2018 budget should the Treasury and THE Sarah Serem led Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) fail to honor their non-negotiated deal.

MPs claimed that their earlier removal from office (August this year), means that they will be out of office for eight months, contrary to their five year plan, which expires March 2018. In their argument, they claim their Sh3 billion payment in lieu will be legit.

The lawyer in his suit, classified as urgent, argued that the billions sought are out of the legislators' own egocentricity.

"Payment for work not done shall violate the principle that remuneration should be equal to or commensurate to the value of work done," Justice Mativo of the High Court was told.

"The payments shall be against public policy since it will not be commensurate with the public wage bill and the national economy. The same will not serve any public interest but personal and selfish interests of the MPs." Wambola added.

Massive demands

In the case, the National Assembly and the Senate are respondents, and lawyer Wambola told the court that if the legislators are allowed to have their way, there is a likelihood that the counties  leadership and the executive will equally demand their pounds.

He added that MPs want to further rip off Kenyans who are already struggling to shoulder the huge burden of heavy taxation.

Wambola added: "The payment will set a dangerous precedent with other public officers such as governors, Members of County Assemblies, the President and his deputy who will potentially be entitled to similar payments."

The ruling comes a day after the cabinet meeting convened on Wednesday and chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta approved the allocation of Sh100 billion to cater for public sector allowances and salaries harmonisation.

The cabinet at the same time also approved funds for the recruitment of 10,000 police officers and 5,000 teachers.

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