Salaries panel and JSC to meet to re­solve paid sit­tings cap row

Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion ac­cuses the SRC of be­ing un­will­ing to re­solve standoff. October 7 meet­ing was can­celled due to chair­per­son Sarah Serem’s un­avail­abil­ity

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Judiciary - SU­SAN MUHINDI @muhindi_­suu

The JSC and the Salaries and Re­mu­ner­a­tion Com­mis­sion will meet to­day to try and iron out dif­fer­ences over the cap­ping of sit­ting al­lowances.

The Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion had filed a pe­ti­tion at the High Court protest­ing against the cap­ping of paid sit­tings at eight meet­ings ev­ery month.

Jus­tice Ed­ward Muri­ithi or­dered the two par­ties to give di­a­logue a chance, fail­ing which the case will pro­ceed to full hear­ing on Jan­uary 23 next year.

The JSC com­prises Attorney Gen­eral Githu Muigai, com­mis­sion vice chair­per­son Mar­garet Ko­bia, Jus­tice Mo­hamed Warsame and Emily Ominde.

The JSC ac­cused the SRC of be­ing un­will­ing to set­tle the dis­pute.

It said the SRC can­celled a meet­ing sched­uled for October 7 at the Attorney Gen­eral’s of­fice. On the day, Ominde and JSC regis­trar Win­frida Mokaya re­port­edly went to the AG’s of­fice for the meet­ing, only to be told it had been can­celled be­cause SRC chair­per­son Sarah Serem was un­avail­able.

The JSC had said the cap­ping of paid sit­tings would de­lay the re­cruit­ment of a new Chief Jus­tice and deputy ju­di­ciary boss by six months. The com­mis­sion also said the de­lay would slow down the pro­mo­tion of mag­is­trates and other em­ploy­ees.

Ju­di­ciary regis­trar Anne Amadi said the SRC lacks the power to cap sit­ting al­lowances for ju­di­cial of­fi­cers.

She said the SRC does not have over­sight pow­ers over in­de­pen­dent of­fices and con­sti­tu­tional com­mis­sions.

“The SRC can only set the re­mu­ner­a­tion for the JSC, but can­not set the num­ber of paid sit­tings they have since that will be at­tempt­ing to in­ter­fere with our ad­min­is­tra­tive in­de­pen­dence,” she said.

“In any event, the SRC can only re­view ben­e­fits of State of­fi­cers.”

/JACK OWUOR

Mem­bers of the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion pre­pare to in­ter­view ap­pli­cants for the Chief Jus­tice po­si­tion on Au­gust 29

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