11 July 2019

Kenya: PSC Defends Lawmakers' Allowances

The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) has come out to defend MPs over claims that they have been irregularly awarded hefty perks without the concurrence of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

The PSC, charged with the welfare of the 416 members of the National Assembly and Senate and their Speakers, as well as parliamentary staff, spoke for the first time as SRC accused MPs of usurping its mandate.

However, in a statement read by Taveta MP Naomi Shaban Thursday on behalf of Speaker Justin Muturi, who chairs PSC, accused SRC of treating MPs with disdain as it continues to clandestinely engage the other arms of government.

"They have a sinister motive against the MPs. Whenever we want to engage them they are always not available but constantly sneaking in gazette notices just weeks to elections reducing MPs' pay," Dr Shaban, who is the PSC vice chairperson, said at Parliament buildings.

She was with PSC members Adan Keynan (Eldas MP), Senators George Khaniri (Vihiga), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Beth Mugo (nominated) and MrSamuel Chepkonga.

"SRC has all the time with the other categories of state officers -- Executive and Judiciary -- regularly reviewing their perks. But when it comes to us, they avoid us and even have the audacity to say that we are a different category of state officers. It's not fair at all," she said.

The PSC position on the matter comes after SRC moved to court to stop the Sh250,000 in monthly allowances before tax, paid to MPs following a court ruling on October 5, 2018.

The amount was awarded to the MPs and backdated to October last year when High Court Judge Chacha Mwita ruled that all state officers are entitled to a housing allowance provided by the State.

Justice Mwita delivered the ruling in a petition filed by deputy governors, who argued that they had been unfairly left out of the perks enjoyed by the other state officers.


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