Lawmakers and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) are bracing for a major legal tussle on whether the orders earlier issued stopping the payment of the MPs’ housing allowances can be suspended.
The High Court granted orders in an urgent application the SRC file and stopped the decision of the Parliamentary Service Commission from paying MPs an additional Sh250,000 each as house allowance.
The MPs had agreed to pay themselves the allowance backdated to October 2018 from April this year.
The lawmakers have since approached the High Court seeking to set aside or have those order varied, arguing that they infringed on their rights.
However, the SRC argues that the threshold for granting the conservatory orders had been met and said: “This is a public state of affairs thus the orders were lawfully granted to keep the public funds safe. It is in public interest that the orders granted on May 31 are not set aside.”
In seeking the orders to remain in place, the SRC cited the loss of public funds into private hands, saying that they outweigh the personal and private interest of the MPs.
“If MPs can backdate the payment and continue receiving an additional house allowance, they will be legalising an illegality which is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution,” SRC in court papers.
The SRC says the orders have no adverse effect on MPs since they receive a consolidated pay, which comprises of a house allowance.