Lawmakers have suffered a major blow in their bid to arm-twist Treasury to pay them Sh 3.3 billion after the High Court put a halt on the process.
The temporary orders given by High Court judge John Mativo blocked Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, Parliamentary Service Commission, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and Attorney General Githu Muigai from considering, processing, advising, recommending, approving or even paying the MPs the benefits and salaries sought up until the case is heard and determined.
The decision by the lawmakers to award themselves the hefty amount to be footed by the taxpayers did not go down well as the judge agreed that the case filed by lawyer Dismas Wambola had reasonable grounds to move the court to issue temporary orders.
A day after the Members of Parliament threatened to shoot down the 2017-2018 budget over what they claim “legitimate pay for their five-year term,” lawyer Dismas Wambola moved to court arguing that they cannot have what they have not worked for.
The lawyer in his case filed under a certificate of urgency said the billions sought are out of the legislators’ own selfish interests.
“Payment for work not done shall violate the principle that remuneration should be equal to or commensurate to the value of work done,” the judge was told.
“The payments shall be against public policy since it will not be commensurate with the public wage bill and the national economy. The same will not serve any public interest but personal and selfish interests of the MPs.”
In the case where the National Assembly and the Senate are also respondents, lawyer Wambola told the court that if the legislators are allowed to have their way, there is a likelihood that the county leadership and the executive will equally demand their pounds.
He added that MPs want to further rip off Kenyans who are already struggling to shoulder the huge burden of heavy taxation.
Wambola added: “The payment will set a dangerous precedent with other public officers such as governors, Members of County Assemblies, the President and his deputy who will potentially be entitled to similar payments.”
The case fronted by the lawyer is that it is unfair for the lawmakers to go for the huge pay whereas lecturers and doctors are fighting in the streets to get a pay increase.
He argued that the Government has held its ground that the economy cannot sustain huge perks.