Parliament in Kenya photo

Members of Parliament, Women Representatives and Senators directed to refund taxpayers Ksh2.9 billion which they have collectively pocketed in accommodation and house allowances since August 2018.

A three-judge bench comprising Pauline Nyamweya, Weldon Korir and John Mativo ruled on Thursday, December 10 that the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) infringed the Constitution when it granted the legislators the illegal hefty allowances.

Activist Okiya Omtatah had moved to court to question PSC’s choice to allocate accommodation and housing allowances to the legislators, contending that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), which is legally mandated to cap or review public officers’ pay, was not asked when arriving at that decision.

Records show that the legislators took home Ksh1.2 billion annually in the accommodation and house allowances.

The lawmakers have now taken home in a total of Ksh2.9 billion.

Following the three judges’ unanimous ruling Thursday, each MP will now have to return to the taxpayers’ basket Ksh7.2 million.

The orders give them one year to ensure they refund the monies.

Justices Nyamweya, Korir and Mativo, who gave their ruling via a video conference, directed the Clerks of the National Assembly and Senate to guarantee that the funds are collected within one year from December 10, 2020.

The records show each of Kenya’s 418 lawmakers took home Ksh250,000 every month in the form of accommodation and house allowance.

Though the lawmakers awarded themselves on May 2019, they backdated the payments to August 2018.

According to Omtatah, the MPs were being “unreasonable” in conferring themselves the substantial perks in the form of accommodation and house allowances, yet they are entitled to a termly Ksh20 million mortgage.

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