Kenya – (warsoor) – Members of the 12th Parliament have declared war on the Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC) for refusing to approve their monthly house allowance maintaining they are entitled to it.
The lawmakers locked horns with the SRC over KSh 250,000 monthly house allowance which the commission termed unconstitutional and proceeded to court to challenge, a move that angered the legislators who had already pocketed millions out of the controversial allowance.
In their sustained quest for higher perks, the legislators reportedly convened a closed-door meeting chaired by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi to come up with a plan on how to get away it.
Speaker Muturi had publicly defended the MPs saying the house allowance that was allocated to them by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) was justified despite concerns over ballooning public wage bill.
“The notion that MPs are not concerned about Kenya’s wage bill is fallacious. Kenyans must not allow the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to be selective and discriminatory in its determination.
A housing benefit is extended to all Public Servants and State Officers alike,” Muturi said on Saturday, June 8, amid growing public anger over the lawmakers’ persistent push for pay rise.
The MPs have allegedly hatched an elaborate plan to paralyse operations of the SRC and slash allowances of the commissioners and other public servants including President Uhuru Kenyatta after the salaries body refused to approve their house allowance.
The SRC had on Tuesday, May 7, issued a statement indicating it was the only body mandated with determining salaries and allowances of state officials.
Its chairperson Lyn Mengich described the MPs move to award themselves more allowances a violation of the constitution, stating that action would be taken regarding the same.
“Article 260 of the Constitution categorises members of Parliament as State Officers and as such, determination of their remuneration and benefits is the exclusive responsibility of the SRC.
Payment of any remuneration and benefits, which have not been set or advised by SRC is in violation of the Constitution,” the statement read.
The 349 Kenyan legislators earn a basic salary of about KSh 740,000 each minus the allowances.
Add the allowances and the monthly take home shoots up to above KSh 1 million.
The SRC raised the red flag when it emerged legislators had awarded themselves some KSh 2.25 million in April 2019 in the name of housing allowance which was backdated to August 2018.
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