NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11 – Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has appointed a three-judge bench comprised of Justices Issac Lenaola, Weldon Korir and Mumbi Ngugi to hear a petition lodged by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and activist Okoiti Omtata challenging the MPs salary increment.
LSK wants the High Court to determine whether Parliament has powers to make and interpret laws arguing that the MPs do not have the authority to alter decisions by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
LSK Chairman Eric Mutua decried attempts by elected representatives from the Senate, National Assembly, Governors and CountyRepresentatives to dictate and determine their remuneration.
The SRC, which is constitutionally empowered to determine the pay of public officers set MPs salary at Sh532,000 from Sh851,000 earned by Members of the 10th Parliament.
High Court judge David Majanja referred the matter to the CJ saying it is necessary that the case be handled by more than one judge due to weighty issues and public interest involved.
He further extended an order suspending the resolution by MPs to increase their salaries.
MPs last month unanimously approved a motion quashing gazette notices published by the SRC to reduce their salaries terming it unconstitutional.
The motion meant that MPs will revert to the National Assemblies Remuneration Act, which set their salaries at Sh851,000 and not the 532,000 that SRC had proposed.
LSK has termed the decision by Parliament as unconstitutional and asked the court to declare it null and void.
The activist wants the court to order the Parliamentary Service Commission to immediately pay the MPs their salaries as gazetted by SRC.