MCAs push for Sh5bn payout in poll date row

Tuesday February 23 2016

County Assemblies Forum secretary-general Albert Kochei. Mr Kochei has said that MCAs must be paid Sh5 billion as compensation if elections are held in August next year as scheduled. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

County Assemblies Forum secretary-general Albert Kochei. Mr Kochei has said that MCAs must be paid Sh5 billion as compensation if elections are held in August next year as scheduled. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PATRICK LANG'AT
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MCAs have maintained that they must be paid Sh5 billion as compensation if elections are held in August next year as scheduled.

They argue that since the law provides that county assemblies are elected for a period of five years, holding the poll in August will have cut their term by five months for which they must be compensated.

MCAs’ forum secretary general Albert Kochei said the Constitution had set out their contracts and changing it would mean breaking the law.

“We must serve for a full five-year term,” he said, noting that MPs were making similar demands.

The MPs are hoping to get Sh3.3 billion should the elections be held as scheduled.

The law says a county assembly is elected for a term of five years and that MCAs will be elected the same day as MPs, on the second Tuesday in August, in every fifth year.

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Monday, Mr Kochei said they would ask lawyers to seek an interpretation of the law.

“We need an interpretation of lacuna in law that while the Constitution fixes the election on the second Tuesday of August of fifth year, the same Supreme document says the contractual term of MCAs is five years and considering we were elected in March 2013, August 2017 won’t be five years,” said Mr Kochei.

“Our view is that the term of the county assemblies be extended or we be compensated for lost time in our contractual terms,” said Mr Kochei.

It was the Supreme Court that set August 2017 as the election date after questions arose on when elections should be held.

It ruled that the current Parliament will serve a shorter term. The MCAs started their clamour for a Sh5 billion compensation after their lobby’s executive committee meeting two weeks ago.

The lobby also warned that if the elections are held as planned, county assemblies will not also be able to prepare budgets. The National Treasury wants the Budget passed in April instead of June due to the poll.