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Economy

Court extends orders barring MPs’ pay raise

The High Court on Tuesday extended interim orders stopping the MPs’ pay raise until cases challenging the move are determined.

A three-judge Bench comprising Justice Isaac Lenaola, Justice Mumbi Ngugi and Justice Weldon Korir will hear the case on July 11, after the parties make their submissions.

The cases filed by the Law Society of Kenya and activist Okiya Omtatah were mentioned at the High Court on Tuesday as a group of activists staged another ‘Occupy Parliament’ protest over MPs’ quest for higher pay.

Justice David Majanja suspended the pay increase two weeks ago until Tuesday and referred the case to the Chief Justice who appointed the three judges.

The lawyers filed an application for a conservatory order and a petition raising constitutional questions about Parliament’s mandate to determine their own salaries.

The petitioners moved to court to stop the National Assembly and its Speaker, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and the Controller of Budget from enforcing the decision by MPs to nullify the Kenya Gazette notices that had set their salaries at Sh532,500.

The MPs wanted the Sh851,000 earned by 10th Parliament restored. Meanwhile, the lobby group camped at the Parliament in Nairobi to protest against the lawmaker’s move to award themselves higher pay.

The SRC has warned that any public officer who pays MPs above what it had authorised would face the law.

With the court order, the lawmakers, who are said to have gone without salaries since the elections, may have to wait longer.

On Tuesday, lawyers representing the petitioners told court that the orders would not prejudice the MPs since they can receive the Sh532,500 approved by SRC as they await the court’s decision.

Earlier, President Uhuru Kenyatta had said that the executive would abide by the salary set by SRC and asked MPs hold talks with the commission over the pay dispute.

Daily Nation on Tuesday reported that the SRC on Monday met parliamentary service Commission to discuss the new pay for MPs.

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