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PSC accuses salaries commission of criminalizing the welfare of MPs’

MPs in the National Assembly. Photo/CFM-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 11- The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) has faulted the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for propagating what it described as a ‘vendetta campaign’ against Members of Parliament.

Commission Vice Chairperson Naomi Shaban says the commission is taking a biased approach in addressing the welfare of MPs while engaging other arms of the government.

“We have tried to engage the SRC and every time they keep running away from their mandate because they have some sinister motive against Members of Parliament. That is a fact, and this explains why they sneak a Gazette notice just when we are about to go for any General Election. My question is, why does SRC accept to sit down with the Judicial Service Commission and the Executive to agree on what they need but cannot do the same for us,” Shaban said, “I do not understand this hatred.”

She further denied claims that MPs enjoy other allowances apart from the sitting allowance they get whenever they attend committee meetings.

“There are no other allowances that are accorded to MPs. Further, it is noteworthy that a sitting allowance is not an automatic allowance that is payable to a member. One must have attended the House or Committee sitting, evidenced by confirmation of attendance through being present at such a sitting,” she said.
The commission has vowed to fight for the rights of MPs.

Eldas MP Adan Kynan who is a member of the commission accused SRC of criminalizing the welfare of lawmakers.
“We will not allow SRC to criminalize the institution of Parliament because of their incompetence,
misinterpretation of the law and their hate for Members of Parliament. As members of PSC and as elected MPs and representatives of the MPs we will do our job and we will be guided by the law,” Keynan said.

Chief Justice David Maraga has already appointed a three-judge bench to hear a case challenging the Sh250,000 monthly house allowance to legislators.

Justices Pauline Nyamweya (presiding), Weldon Korir and John Mativo are set to hear and determine the case filed by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

The petition will be mentioned for further directions on July 18, 2019.

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Each of the 416 legislators, 349 National Assembly members and 67 Senators previously awarded themselves Sh250,000 in monthly house allowances backdated to October 2018.

The SRC however, opposed the move cautioning that the arrangement would result in loss of public funds in excess of Sh99 million per month and Sh1.194 billion annually.

Last month , the High Court further granted SRC orders stopping the Parliamentary Service Commission from paying MPs the disputed allowance.


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