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Tough times for MPs as court orders them to pay KSh1.2B

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The High Court has ordered Members of Parliament to pay back KSh1.2 billion in house allowances they unlawfully awarded themselves two years ago.

The three-judge bench (Lady Justice Pauline Nyamweya, Justices Weldon Korir and John Mativo) agreed with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and Human Rights Activist Okiya Omtatah who had challenged the KSh250,000 house and accommodation allowances that the 418 Parliamentarians awarded themselves.

Consequently, the court has directed the clerks of the National Assembly and Senate to recover the money from salaries of MPs and Senators within 12 months.

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The controversial allowances were paid to lawmakers since August 2018 which means that each of them will have to refund at least KSh1.75 million in 12 months.

In the ruling, the court said that the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) illegally assumed the exclusive mandate of SRC in awarding the allowances without its approval.

PSC, however, says that the National Assembly had only paid KSh357 million in five and half months before SRC successfully obtained a court order stopping the allowances.

If PSC’s assertions are true, then MPs will be required to pay back only KSh1 million.

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