Taxpayers will have to fork out Sh3.3 billion for MCAs’ pay if a High Court ruling that the ward representatives be paid salaries for the eight months that was shaved off their five-year term by the delay in holding the 2013 General Election stand.
Justice Edward Muriithi said MCAs will be paid monthly for eight months after the August 8 and not a lump sum for their shorter term.
The judge ruled that the five-year tenure for MCAs ends in March 2018 in line with Article 177(4) of the Constitution that provides they serve for five years.
The 11th Parliament and tenure of MCAs has a shorter life span having been elected into office in March 2013 and set to terminate on August 8, 2017.
Currently there are 2,526 MCAs each earning a basic monthly salary of Sh165, 000, meaning each will get 1.32 million for eight months.
This will cost taxpayers Sh3.3 billion. The move is also likely to motivate MPs to continue pushing for a similar severance pay that could cost another Sh2.8 billion.
“The MCAs suffer a reduced opportunity to remain in office for the full term of their constitutional tenure consistently with their right to hold office and for that reason; they are entitled to compensation for the lost income for that period,” said Justice Muriithi.
“For avoidance of doubt, this judgment does not affect the holding of the general elections scheduled for August 8, and the payment of salary as well as other applicable emoluments shall be per month in arrears at the end of every month for the period of eight months by which the tenure of the office of MCAs has been reduced,” ruled Justice Muriithi.
Since the verdict has a direct implication on both those who lose or win back their seats as MCAs, the judge further said parties in the case are free to seek court direction on pay to be used for the eight months where the MCAs are not performing the daily operations of that office.
Beside basic pay, MCAs receive other perks like sitting, airtime and millage allowance.