1 June 2013

Kenya: Activists Want MPs Declared Unfit to Hold Office

Nairobi — Two Civil society activists on Friday filed a case in court seeking orders to declare all Members of Parliament unfit to continue holding office.

The petitioners from the Uzalendo Institute for Leadership and Democracy said the legislators have violated the integrity clause by voting to nullify the Salaries and Remuneration Commission gazette notice that slashed their salary from Sh851, 000 to Sh532, 000.

The two include Cosmas Koech and Daniel Kamau--all from the Uzalendo institute.

Earlier on Friday afternoon, a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) against the legislators' salary demands was referred to the Chief Justice to constitute a bench of three judges to hear it.

Justice David Majanja who was hearing the matter said the case will be mentioned on June 3 for further directions.

He said orders prohibiting the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) from paying MPs a salary that is more than what is recommended by the salaries team will remain in force until the case is heard and determined.

On Thursday, the High Court barred the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) from paying MPs the enhanced salary.

Majanja gave the orders following a suit filed by the LSK which also sought orders to nullify any action taken by MPs in determining their own salaries.

The MPs have threatened to cut the pay of other State officers--including President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.

A group of seven MPs met and strategised on how they can push their pay agenda, by among other maneuvers, slashing the budgetary allocation to constitutional commissions by 43 per cent, reducing Value Added Tax (VAT) and exempt Kenyans earning less than Sh50,000 from paying tax.

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