Supreme Court dismisses MCAs’ petition seeking KES 8 billion in compensation
The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition filed by Members of County Assembly (MCAs) seeking KES 8 billion in compensation for term reductions prior to the 2017 General Election.
The MCAs’ said their five-year term was set to expire on March 3, 2018, but the election date was set for August 8, 2017.
The MCAs, through the County Assemblies Forum, argued before the Supreme Court that the Court of Appeal erred in overturning their compensation.
They claimed that because the law states that county assemblies are elected for a five-year term, holding the election in August shortens their term by five months, for which they must be compensated.
The Supreme Court, on the other hand, ruled that holding public office for the benefit of the public does not give the holder of the office the right to the office’s property.
“The holders of elective office vie and hold office, not for their private benefit but for the benefit of their constituents on whose behalf they act. The MCAs term in office ended operation of the Constitution, thereby their claim for legitimate expectation lacked merit,” the Supreme Court ruled.
The court also acknowledged that holding the second General Election on August 8, 2017 indeed created an eight-month gap.
The High Court ruled in 2017 that Members of County Assembly were entitled to their full five-year salary, but the Court of Appeal ruled that MCAs who served between 2013 and 2017 should not be paid for the eight months they did not serve.
Attorney General Githu Muigai appealed High Court judge Edward Muriithi’s decision saying the five-year tenure for Members of County Assembly ended just before the General Election, as required by the constitution.