Activist wants proposed MPs medical cover suspended

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 00:00 | By
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Health ministry headquarters in Nairobi. Photo/PD/FILE

The plan to provide MPs with a medical health cover after leaving office has taken a new twist after human rights activist Okiya Omtatah filed a petition challenging the move.

Omtatah under a certificate of urgency wants the court to suspended the government’s move to have lawmakers enjoy a medical insurance cover even after their retirement.

“The court be pleased to issue a conservatory order suspending the processing of the respondent’s (Parliamentary Service Commission) TENDER NO. PJS/007/2021-2022 for provision of medical insurance cover for Members of Parliament pending the hearing and determination of the case,”he says.

The human rights activist argues that there is no provision in law for MPs to continue enjoying medical insurance cover beyond the end of their term.

“The petitioner reasonably suspects that the current PSC members, whose term will end alongside that of the current Parliament, are acting selfishly with the improper motive of corruptly benefitting personally by being in a position to negotiate and  execute the multi-million shilling contract before they leave office,”reads the court papers.

Eligible members 

According to Omtatah, on September 17, 2021, the PSC advertised in the media TENDER NO. PJS/007/2021-2022 for the  provision of a medical insurance cover for Members of Parliament for a period of two years, with effect from January 1, 2022.

He argues that it makes no sense to pay two-year premiums for all MPs yet some will be in office for only seven months and nine days because they will not be re-elected.

According to the activist, it is not possible to predetermine the family members (the spouses and children) of the new MPs who will be elected on August 9, 2022 and will be eligible for the cover.

Justice Anthony Mrima certified the matter as urgent and gave PSC seven days to file its response. Hearing October 19.

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