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Economy

Kibaki, Moi perks to cost taxpayer Sh150 million a year

Former Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Mr Daniel Toroitich arap Moi. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Former Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Mr Daniel Toroitich arap Moi. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Kenyan taxpayers will spend Sh149.72 million to keep former presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki in comfortable retirement next financial year.

Mr Kibaki will be entitled to Sh82.86 million in benefits during the 2014/15 fiscal year starting July while his predecessor will get Sh66.85 million, according to the Treasury’s recurrent expenditure plans.

Mr Moi will receive Sh15.21 million in personal allowances paid as part of his salary in the new financial year while Mr Kibaki is entitled to Sh11.02 million.

Mr Kibaki, who stepped down from the presidency last year after serving two terms, will enjoy an insurance cover of Sh13.10 million in the new financial year, a privilege his predecessor does not have.

The total cost of statutory benefits for the two retired presidents is expected to rise to Sh158.67 million in 2015/16 and to Sh164.68 million the following year.

Mr Moi retired in 2002 after a 24 year reign, which has entitled him to regular payments, the first ever for a former head of State in Kenya.

The first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, died in office in 1978. Each of the retired presidents is entitled to Sh8.11 million for foreign travel and Sh2.6 million for maintenance of official vehicles.

Parliament is yet to debate and pass a law on the retirement perks of former prime minister Raila Odinga, former vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka and former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende.

A Bill sponsored by Suba MP John Mbadi is yet to be debated on the floor of the House. The Bill guarantees current Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Ekwee Ethuro (Senate) hefty retirement packages upon completing a single term in office.

If the Bill is passed, Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka as well as the current Speakers would be entitled to monthly pensions equal to 80 per cent of their last monthly salary in office.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) in March 2013 set the Speaker’s salary at Sh990,000 while the Chief Justice earns a basic salary of Sh782,220 and Sh100,000 house allowance.

But Mr Mbadi’s Bill does not provide any retirement package for Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who is due to retire in less than three years.

The new Bill, which was developed after Mr Kibaki rejected the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Bill 2013, also leaves out then deputy prime ministers Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta and the Chief of Kenya Defence Forces Jeremiah Karangi.

Mr Kibaki refused to assent to the Bill after MPs sneaked in hefty payoffs for themselves, but went ahead to sign another awarding himself Sh25 million in pension and retirement benefits.

Should the Mbadi Bill be passed, Mr Muturi and Mr Ethuro will be entitled to a minimum of Sh792, 000 monthly for the rest of their lives after leaving office in 2017.

Mr Marende, who served as Speaker in the 10th Parliament, was on a salary of Sh800,000 and received Sh700,000 in allowances while Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka were on a monthly salary of Sh1.7 million.

Mr Odinga, who served as prime minister from 2008 to 2013, could be the biggest beneficiary of the Bill. He will be entitled to a lump sum payment equal to one and a half years salary paid for each term served.

In addition, he would be entitled to two saloon vehicles with an engine capacity not exceeding 2000cc replaceable every four years, one four-wheel drive vehicle with a maximum engine capacity of 3000 cc, monthly fuel allowance equivalent to 15 per cent of the last monthly salary, medical cover providing local and overseas treatment for himself and wife, Ida.

Additional benefits include two drivers, a personal assistant, secretary, housekeeper, two armed guards, diplomatic passports, access to VIP lounges at all airports within the country and maintenance expenses for the vehicles.

Several legislators from the ruling Jubilee coalition have demanded that Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka retire from active politics before they can be considered for inclusion into retirement schemes.

Mr Odinga has dismissed the calls to have him quit politics and instead demanded equal benefits as received by Mr Kibaki. Mr Odinga served as Mr Kibaki’s co-principal in a coalition government formed in 2008 after the country witnessed violence following the disputed 2007 Presidential election results.

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