NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 — A lawyer is in court to stop the proposed payment of salaries, allowances and benefits to legislators after the general elections slated for August 8; for a period of eight months.
Dismus Wambola is seeking an order restraining the Cabinet Secretary in-charge of the National Treasury, the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) and the Salaries Remuneration Commission (SRC) from considering, recommending or approving any payment to members of the National Assembly and Senate.
The advocate is contesting the intended payment after the August 8 polls which run into billions of shillings arguing that it will have a devastating effect on the national economy.
MPs are demanding to be paid salaries and allowances until March 2018 after their term expires on the poling date.
The lawmakers are said to be pushing for the payment to be factored into the supplementary budget estimates to be presented in the August house for approval in a few weeks time.
Under a certificate of urgency, the advocate contends that allowing MPs demands will not be in the country’s best interests especially now that doctors, nurses, lecturers, and non-teaching staff at Universities are pressing for better remuneration.
“The move will be against public policy and does not serve any public good but rather serves only the MPs’ personal and selfish interest,” he states.
He insists that termination of the MPs’ contract of service is on August 8 which is provided for by the Constitution and any remuneration done after would be unlawful.
Wambola says it is unfortunate that Kenyan lawmakers who are ranked among the top paid globally would demand payment for no work done in an economy that can “ hardly finance the provision of essential good and services like food and medicare for its poor citizens ”.
“If the National Assembly representatives and Senators are paid after August 8, it means that those who will successfully defend their seats will be paid twice for the same job,” he adds.
The Court has been asked to declare that the move unlawful and to find that a reported refusal to pass any laws or budgetary estimates unless they are paid the remuneration sought, amounts to a threat to abdicate their Constitutional duty.
“By doing so, they are threatening the rule of law and good governance since the demands are unlawful and is consistent with values and principles of governance,’’ he adds.