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LSK President Nelson Havi/FILE

Kenya

LSK asks Treasury to suspend MPs’ salaries over dissolution advise

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 –The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) wants the National Treasury to suspend payment of national lawmakers’ salaries effective October 12.

LSK President Nelson Havi announced the decision on Thursday saying the measure was intended to safe-guard public resources in the event that President Uhuru Kenyatta does not dissolve Parliament within 21days.

“Mindful of the impunity that have been perpetuated by Parliament and the Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate, we have written to the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the National Treasury, to cease the remittance of salaries and allowances to members of the National Assembly and Senators of the Twelfth Parliament with effect from October 12. Man shall not eat what he has not laboured for,” he told a news conference held at LSK Offices.

Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) whose chair is National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi already gave an assurance that the 419 legislators will continue receiving the remuneration until their term of office expires after the 2022 general election.

LSK latest demand is premised on Chief Justice David Maraga’s decision advising President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failure to enact a law to operationalize the two-third gender constitutional principle.

Under the two-thirds gender rule, the dominant gender should only occupy 66.66 per cent of public offices. Currently, men dominate the National Assembly as only 59 out of 349 MPs are female.

Havi said the LSK also petitioned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission stating that Parliament shall be not conduct lawful business beyond the said timeline.

The lawyers’ lobby group also asked Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to withdraw security detail attached to the Members of Parliament.

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“We have written to the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government as well as Inspector General of Police to withdraw all police officers designated to guard these, who will be former parliamentarians.”

“We have also asked the Parliamentary Service Commission to ensure that the two Houses are closed because these individuals will no longer have the authority of the people of Kenya,” The LSK President stated.

The PSC, which ensures smooth running of both the Senate and the National Assembly, has already announced its intent challenge the CJ’s advice in court.

The Commission on Tuesday claimed that the Chief Justice jumped the gun by issuing the advisory despite two impending petitions before the High Court.

While issuing the advisory on Monday, Justice Maraga cited Article 261 (1) and the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, which provides that the enactment of the two-thirds gender principle was among the things Parliament was to do within five years after the promulgation of the Constitution in 2010. This has not happened 10 years later.

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