PSC seeks court advice on 11th Parliament MPs’ payout

MPs during a past session. FILE PHOTO | NMG
MPs during a past session. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) is seeking an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court on whether the lawmakers who served in the 11th Parliament and had their terms cut short by eight months are entitled to compensation.

The MPs and MCAs were all elected into office on March 3, 2013 — the first General Election under the 2010 Constitution.

The PSC says there is a legitimate expectation for compensation given that lawmakers were to serve for a five-year term up to March 3, this year.

“By various gazette notices published on March 17, 2017, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), declared the next General Election to be held on August 8, 2017, as provided under the Constitution,” PSC in court papers.

As a result of the declaration, the MCAs filed a case at the High Court accusing the IEBC of calling elections prematurely, denying them eight months of service. Judgment was delivered on April 27, 2017, in favour of the MCAs to the effect that they were entitled to serve in line with the requirements of the Constitution. The PSC now wants the court to advise it on the matter.

The case will be heard on Tuesday next week.

Further, that they should therefore be paid their salaries and benefits for the eight months premature determination of their constitutional term. This decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal but the MCAs have since moved to the Supreme Court to challenge the appellate verdict which overturned their win.

The PSC says members of the eleventh parliament and the first MCAs, were elected into office on the same day and for an equal and similar constitutional term of five years.

Hence, taking into account the symbiotic relationship between the two tiers of governance at national and county levels, there is uncertainty as to whether MPs of the eleventh parliament are entitled to be paid their salaries and benefits for the eight months within which their constitutional term of office should have ended.