SUPREME Court, Court of Appeal and High Court judges are planning to meet Chief Justice Willy Mutunga over the delay in payment of their July salary.
The judges told the Star that the decision by the treasury and Central Bank to hold up their pay is a violation of their constitutional rights. Judges' salaries are drawn directly from consolidated funds to cushion them against "anxiety" and corruption.
However, the judges said they feel that they have been exposed to anxiety by the government which is not taking the importance of paying them on time seriously.
They said they have been penalised by banks on their standing orders and they wonder whether the government will refund them. "We have standing orders with different banks and because of the delay in payment some of us have to pay up to Sh20,000 in penalties," a judge said. "The government has been holding our money for 15 days so are they going to pay us with interest?" another judge said. The said the salary delays began in April.
However, in June they received their pay by 26. The Judiciary said the hold up in payments was caused by the transition to new Principal Secretaries, creating changes in terms of signatories to the account as a result of the devolution of some functions.
Human resource director Dismus Obondo sent an email to all judges on August 12 stating that a technical failure of the recently installed integrated financial management information system also caused the delays.
The system allegedly failed to carry over some data forcing the treasury officials to do it manually. Obondo said treasury had confirmed that their salaries were sent to banks last Friday. "Your honours, treasury has confirmed a few minutes ago that salaries were released to the banks on Friday and in some banks the money will be in the accounts by today," the email stated..
Responding on the same email thread Judiciary director of finance Benedict Omollo told the judges that their pay will be delayed by another day and apologised for the hold up. The lowest paid High Court judge takes home Sh480,000 while the highest pai, depending on number of years served, gets Sh700,000.
While their counterparts in the Court of Appeal earn between Sh550,000 and Sh900,000.
The star has learned that salary delays have not affected court clerks.