City MCAs have joined other county legislators across the country demanding house allowance. Similar calls have come from ward representatives in Homa Bay, Isiolo, Garissa, Kakamega and Murang’a counties.
The MCAs, led by Majority Leader Abdi Guyo, argued that they qualify to be State officers and are, therefore, entitled to a house. On October 5, 2018, High Court Judge Justice Chacha Mwita ruled that state officers are entitled to a house allowance.
Justice Mwita said denying MPs house allowances when other State officers were entitled to the same was discriminatory, unjustifiable, selective and contrary to Article 27 of the Constitution.
Mr Guyo complained that there were disparities in State offices in the country with regard to remuneration, notably house allowances, which MCAs are not given.
“Nairobi MCAs are particularly disadvantaged as they do not get some allowance their counterparts in other places get yet life in the city is expensive. For instance, those in far-flung counties get mileage allowance of up to Sh200,000,” Mr Guyo said.
CONTRARY TO CONSTITUTION
The Matopeni Ward MCA added that in the Petition No 328 of 2016; Council of Governors versus SRC, the court ruled that denying some State officers the benefits enjoyed by other state officers is discriminatory, unjustifiably selective and contrary to the Constitution.
“The devolved units are a critical component of governance in the country as per Article 11 of the Constitution and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) should be mindful of the remunerative needs of public and State officers to ensure adequate facilitation for the successful execution of their duties and mandates,” he said.
Last month, the Governing Council of the County Assemblies Forum (CAF), a body comprising all the 47 counties, resolved that the non-payment of housing allowance to MCAs according to the High Court finding is a fundamental breach of the rights of its members.
Resolving to approve and adopt the resolution of the County Assemblies Forum Governing Council, Mr Guyo said that the SRC should set a housing allowance for the MCAs in compliance with the The majority leader now wants MCAs to start getting house allowance as soon as the SRC acts on the matter.
Meanwhile, in Kakamega, the ward representatives passed a motion awarding themselves a Sh45,000 monthly house allowance and demanded that it be backdated to October last year.
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