The Court of Appeal has declined to suspend an order requiring members of parliament to refund Ksh2.7 billion that they illegally awarded themselves as house allowances.
In a ruling delivered last year, the High Court had ordered the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) to recover the money in one year.
However, the legislators lodged an appeal claiming the High Court misinterpreted the Constitution on the roles of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission viz a viz those of the PSC.
They wanted the Appellate Court to suspend the order pending hearing and determination of their case.
But Justices Wanjiru Karanja, Jamilla Mohammed and Gatembu Kairu declined the request arguing that although the MPs raised an important issue they did not convince the court that they would suffer if the salary cuts were effected.
SRC had opposed the MPs’ application on grounds that the members are public officers and therefore the commission has a say on their salaries.
The case on the MPs allowances was first filed in court by SRC and activist Okiya Omtatah.
The petitioners challenged the Ksh250,000 house allowance that the 416 MPs awarded themselves.
In a ruling delivered in December last year, a three judge bench directed the Clerk of the Senate and National Assembly to recover in full the aforementioned amount from the salaries and allowances of each legislator.
Justices Weldon Korir, Pauline Nyamweya and John Mativo unanimously ruled that SRC acted within its mandate by directing Clerks of Parliament not to pay the allowances.
The judges ruled that the SRC directive did not interfere with the constitutional independence of parliament and PSC.
The MPs will each be required to pay back Ksh7.2 million from their salaries.