, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 2 – Chief Justice David Maraga is yet to appoint a bench to hear a petition challenging the payment of Sh 250,000 monthly housing allowances to lawmakers.
Justice Weldon Korir, told parties on Monday the CJ was yet to assign the matter to a bench but told parties the case will be mentioned on July 25 to confirm whether a bench has been appointed.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) had sued the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) over the payment of the house allowances.
The judge said it was consent of parties, the Deputy Registrar of the High Court was directed to forward to CJ the file for consideration on a bench comprising an odd number of judges.
The parties were given seven days to file their responses together with written submissions to allow the expeditious disposal of the petition that was certified urgent by Judge John Mativu on May 29.
He said that the interim orders stopping further payments of the allowance shall remain in force until the hearing and determination of the petition.
The court was told that PSC has filed an application seeking to set aside the interim order obtained by SRC, the judge saying the application will heard alongside the petition.
The SRC moved to court seeking an order reversing a move by the lawmakers to award themselves up to Sh3 million annually in additional allowances.
Through its lawyer Peter Wanyama, the commission filed the petition at the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court seeking to stop further implementation of the house allowance and the recovery of the money paid to the MPs so far.
The order sought is directed to the clerks of the Senate and National Assembly, “to recover from MPs any allowance paid pursuant to the illegal and unconstitutional decision of the respondents to pay house allowance outside the constitutional structure of remuneration and benefits of State officers in Parliament”.
In the alternative, the commission wants the court to hold members of the PSC and Commission Secretary Jeremiah Nyegenye personally responsible for the payment of the allowances to MPs.