NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) now says it will take legal action against the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) and individual Members of Parliament if they draw salaries above the Sh532,000 set by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae told journalists on Wednesday that he would take legal action against anyone who drew an extra coin above what had been set by the SRC because it would be an illegality.
He added that the CIC would ask the courts to ensure that MPs who received such monies were forced to give them back in addition to having whoever authorises such payments declared unfit for public office.
“The Constitution in Article 226 (5) clearly states that any officer who makes such payment takes personal responsibility and we would also be seeking to ensure that these officers refund such benefits,” he explained.
Nyachae said he had already written to the Secretary of the PSC Jeremiah Nyegenye, Attorney General Githu Muigai, Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury Henry Rotich and the Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo urging them to ensure that the Constitution was fully respected.
The commission further accused MPs of abusing their parliamentary powers to pursue selfish interests, with CIC Commissioner Kamotho Waiganjo saying independent commissions were protected by the Constitution.
“Parliament has a right to feel like they have the grounds to remove members of independent commissions as long as those grounds are in the Constitution,” he said.
“But it cannot be a bully tactic and we do not lie awake wondering if we will be removed from office.”
Nyachae further observed that the Constitution prohibited lawmakers from voting in matters where they had a pecuniary interest.
Article 122 (3) states that a member shall not vote on any question in which the member has a pecuniary interest.
MPs are also required by Article 116 (3) and (4) of the Constitution to declare any direct pecuniary interest of benefit of whatever nature.
Clauses 10 (9), 16 (9a) and (10) of the Leadership and Integrity Act also give guidance on this matter while at the same time directing the Clerk of the Senate or the National Assembly to maintain a register of conflicts of interest which shall be open to the public for inspection.
“CIC is concerned that in proceeding to vote on the subject resolution which clearly was a question that members of the National Assembly individually had a pecuniary interest, the express provision of Article 122 (3) was not respected,” he observed.