Economy

House Deputy Speakers get pension for life

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Parliament buildings in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The committee has adopted proposal by former deputy Speakers David Musila, Farah Maalim and Kembi Gitura that holders of the key office be granted retirement perks through amendments to the Retirement Benefits (President and Deputy President) Act of 2015.
  • Mr Maalim served as Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly between January 2008 and January 2013 and was succeeded by Mr Musila from March 2013 to August 2017.
  • Mr Gitura was Senate Deputy Speaker from March 2013 to August 31, 2017.

The deputy Speakers of Parliament will be added to a list State officers entitled to retirement benefits for life if lawmakers approve proposed changes that will increase the burden on taxpayers to keep top officials comfortable after exiting office.

The National Assembly Committee on Finance and National Planning said that proposal is in line with similar perks extended to retired top State officers in the Judiciary and Executive—including a monthly pension, cars, drivers, fully furnished offices and police officers seconded by the State, all at the taxpayers’ expense.

The committee has adopted proposal by former deputy Speakers David Musila, Farah Maalim and Kembi Gitura that holders of the key office be granted retirement perks through amendments to the Retirement Benefits (President and Deputy President) Act of 2015.

“In their memoranda, the former deputy speakers submitted that the Retirement Benefits (President and Deputy President) Act of 2015 should be amended to include deputy speakers of Parliament as beneficiaries of the retirement as is the case with the Executive and Judiciary,” the committee said.

Mr Maalim served as Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly between January 2008 and January 2013 and was succeeded by Mr Musila from March 2013 to August 2017. Mr Gitura was Senate Deputy Speaker from March 2013 to August 31, 2017.

Both the Salaries and Remuneration (SRC) and the National Assembly Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs have approved the proposals contained in the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill of 2020.

Article 230(4) of the Constitution mandates the SRC to set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all State officers and advise the national and county governments on the remuneration and benefits of all other public officers.

“The committee having considered the Bill clause by clause and submissions by the various stakeholders proposes that the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill be passed subject to inclusion of the proposed amendments as captured by the various departmental committees,” the Justice and Legal Affairs committee said.

Though the Finance and Planning committee did not disclose the exact perks proposed for Deputy Speakers of Parliament, indications are that they could largely mirror what is already enjoyed by retired State offices whose pension is captured under the Deputy President and Designated State Officers Act, including National Assembly Speakers, Chief Justices and their deputies as well vice-presidents.

Speakers of the two Houses are entitled to a monthly pension equal to 80 percent of what they earned in the last month in office, among other benefits.

The Speaker of the National Assembly and his Senate counterpart earn Sh1.155 million as gross monthly pay.

Besides the monthly pension, a speaker gets a lump sum payment on retirement (calculated as a sum equal to one year’s salary paid for each term served in office), a saloon car (2,000 cc) and a four-wheel drive (3,000 cc). The cars are replaceable once every four years.

Other benefits to a retired speaker are a fuel allowance equal to 15 percent of current monthly salary and full medical and hospital cover providing for local and overseas treatment that also covers his spouse.

A speaker is further entitled to two drivers, one personal assistant, one secretary, one house keeper, a one senior support staff, one gardener, one cleaner, two police officers and diplomatic passports.