New twist in MPs salaries dispute

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President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses MPs and senators during the official opening of the 12th Parliament on September 12, 2017. A dispute on reduced salaries for MPs could take a new twist following revelations that the Parliamentary Service Commission misrepresented facts regarding the pay review. Photo credit: Daily Nation.

A dispute on reduced salaries, slashed and abolished allowances for MPs could take a new twist following revelations that the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) misrepresented facts regarding the pay review.

In separate applications filed by former Makadara MP Benson Mutura and activist Okiya Omtatah while seeking to join the legal battle over the MPs’ pay cut, they accused PSC of failing to disclose the true position of deliberations in Parliament on the said issue.

PSC had sued the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) seeking to have a gazette notice which stipulates implementation of the pay cut quashed.

Mr Mutura said he was the one who initiated discussions on abolishing of mileage allowance for MPs through complaints to the SRC.

EXORBITANT PAYMENTS

“PSC has misrepresented the facts about the deliberations of Parliament on the issues at hand. Having sat in that House throughout the deliberations, I believe that I am well versed and competent to inform the court of the correct position,” he said.

Through lawyer Kibe Mungai, the former MP, said it was discussed that lawmakers were receiving exorbitant payments as mileage allowance at the expense of taxpayers.

He said it was discussed that the system used to pay MPs’ mileage allowance was prone to abuse since they were not required to prove that they had indeed travelled to their constituencies for reimbursement.

High Court judge George Odunga issued temporary orders in December last year stopping the pay cuts.

Mr Omtatah argued that the temporary orders were contrary to a previous court decision on the same issue in a case in which he was a party.

On Wednesday, Justice Odunga said he will issue further directions on the matter on January 24.