Date LSK demands MPs salaries stopped, police guards withdrawn

By Joel Muinde On Thu, 24 Sep, 2020 12:42 | 2 mins read
Nelson Havi
LSK President Nelson Havi addresses the press on Thursday, October 24, 2020. PHOTO | SCREENGRAB

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) says that it has written to the National Treasury and Interior ministries to stop the remittance of salaries for MPs and withdraw of their bodyguards.

Speaking on Thursday, September 24, LSK President Nelson Havi said that the advisory issued by Chief Justice (CJ) David Maraga renders MPs unlawfully in office on October 12.

CJ Maraga issued the advisory on September 21, asking President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament because of its failure to enact legislation to effect the two-thirds gender rule promised in the 2010 Constitution.

“The advisory does not end the terms of the President, governors, and members of county assemblies. There is no constitutional crisis and the business of government will not come to halt. No financial burden shall lie on the shoulders of taxpayers,” said Havi during the press conference at the LSK headquarters in Nairobi.

He also urged Kenyans to occupy Parliament buildings from October 12, if President Uhuru Kenyatta will not have dissolved Parliament as advised by Maraga.

“Following the advice by the Chief Justice to the President of the Republic of Kenya to dissolve Parliament on 21st September 2020, we notify you that Members of National Assembly and Senators of the 12th Parliament will be unlawfully in office effective 12th October 2020, being twenty-one (21) days from the date of the said advice,” said LSK in a letter to the National Police Service Inspector-General Hillary Mutyambai imploring him to withdraw MPs bodyguards.

On Wednesday, the Government of Kenya was preparing to move to court to challenge the advisory.

The State decision came as opposition leader Raila Odinga warned that Maraga’s advisory could plunge the country into a constitutional crisis, a stance LSK says is not likely given that other arms of the government will still be operational if MPs are sent home.

Highly-placed sources confirmed that Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki was preparing to move to court either on Thursday or Monday, September 28, to challenge the advisory.

AG Kihara is set to argue that Maraga’s advice raises pertinent questions on the public interest, including the economic implications of holding a nationwide election when the economy is suffering from Covid-19 effects.

“The dissolution of Parliament as advised by the Chief Justice raised fundamental constitutional questions which are not contemplated by the Constitution or any of our laws,” the source revealed to People Daily.

Kariuki is likely to question the process of dissolution of Parliament, the timelines for new elections for MPs, the term of the new Parliament and the date of the next presidential, gubernatorial and Member of County Assembly (MCA) elections and who will discharge parliamentary functions during the period of dissolution.

The AG is likely to fault Maraga for not submitting a relevant High Court order to Parliament before issuing his advice to the President.

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