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Enterprise

Rotich freezes Awori’s temporary staff budget

Moody Awori
Former Vice-President Moody Awori arrives for mass at the Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi last year. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG 

The Treasury has withdrawn the budget for temporary staff attached to former Vice-President Moody Awori, reducing expenses incurred by taxpayers running his office to Sh53 million.

The budget estimate for the year starting July shows a nil allocation for the temporary staff expenditure line, which had Sh21 million in the current year ending June.

This is the second time Treasury is factoring Mr Awori’s retirement package into its budget in line with the changes made to the Deputy President and Designated State Officers Act.

Mr Awori served as President Mwai Kibaki’s second Vice-President between September 2003 and December 2007, but was not part of the former State office receiving over-the-top retirement benefits.

He joins a growing list of former State officials receiving lavish retirement benefits that almost match the pay of a middle-level executive in Nairobi bourse-listed firms.

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The Sh53 million budget is for running Mr Awori's office and excludes the personal pension benefits wired to his bank accounts.

According to the Act, Mr Awori’s retirement benefits include monthly pension equivalent to 80 percent of his last salary, security, medical insurance and diplomatic passport for himself and spouse.

He is entitled to a saloon car and a four-wheel-drive vehicle, both of which will come with drivers and fuel allowance equivalent to 15 per cent of the monthly pay of the serving Deputy President.

The vehicles will be replaced after every four years.

Taxpayers will also cater to maintenance of the vehicles at dealerships besides offering Mr Awori one personal assistant, one secretary, one accountant, two housekeepers, two senior support staff, two gardeners, armed security and two cleaners.

Mr Awori’s monthly pay is estimated at Sh600,000 and a fuel allowance of Sh110,500 every month, sources at the pension department say.

The lavish retirement benefits of former presidents and their deputies have come under sharp criticism on grounds that the top officers left office as rich men with property worth billions of shillings and vast business interests.

The number of retired officials on the top benefits will increase in the coming weeks as they get extended to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and retired vice-presidents, including Kalonzo Musyoka.

Musalia Madavadi, who served briefly as vice-president in 2002, is also in line for the benefits.

Retired Parliament Speakers — Kenneth Marende, Francis ole Kaparo and Ekwee Ethuro — are also enjoying comparable benefits, but with a smaller staff of eight aides and two armed guards.

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