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