MCAS voted out lose Sh8bn salary claim

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY ABIUD OCHIENG

Mem­bers of the county as­sem­blies who served in the 2013/2017 pe­riod have lost a claim of Sh8 bil­lion which they had been awarded by the High Court.

The Court of Ap­peal has held that the de­ci­sion which had di­rected the gov­ern­ment to pay them for eight months af­ter the Au­gust 8 Gen­eral Elec­tion was made through mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Ap­pel­late judges Philip Waki, Rose­lyne Nam­buye and Wil­liam Ouko in a judg­ment said that the Con­sti­tu­tion is the supreme law of the land and should not be in­ter­preted in a man­ner that makes it to be in con­flict with it­self.

The High Court judge Ed­ward Muri­ithi had held that the MCAS are en­ti­tled to an or­der for pay­ment of da­m­ages for loss of in­come for the in­com­plete term of of­fice cut short by rea­son of the elec­tions be­ing held be­fore the ex­piry of their con­sti­tu­tional term of five years.

The ap­pel­late court, how­ever, stated that pub­lic of­fi­cers do not have a right to a pub­lic of­fice, and that order­ing that they be paid at a time when new MCAS would have also been elected into of­fice will amount to loss of pub­lic funds.

“That in­ter­pre­ta­tion was bound to cre­ate con­fu­sion given that for­mer MCAS and presently elected MCAS will be fight­ing for re­mu­ner­a­tion. Pub­lic funds will thus be wasted,” ap­pel­late judges.

IEBC and the At­tor­ney Gen­eral had lodged an ap­peal against the High Court rul­ing in April that the five-year ten­ure for MCAS ends on March 3, 2018, in line with Ar­ti­cle 177(4) of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

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