Former presidents Mwai Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi will earn less pension in the year starting July after the Treasury reduced their annual allocation by Sh15 million.
The former presidents have been allocated Sh96.5 million for pension and other personal benefits, down from Sh116.6 million they will have earned at the end of the current financial year in June, budget estimates show.
Retirement benefits of former presidents have come under sharp criticism, especially in the past couple of years when allocations increased by large margins even as the government insisted it had put in place austerity measures to deal with a bourgeoning wage bill.
If awarded equally their package for the current year assures each retired president of a monthly payout of Sh4.65 million — an amount that is higher than three times President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official salary of Sh1.2 million.
It also put the benefits of the two at par with the salary and benefits of top chief executives of financial and telecom companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
The High Court in 2015 stopped the government from paying allowances worth millions of shillings to the two retired presidents after finding that they were an unnecessary burden to the taxpayers. The Attorney-General has since appealed the decision, allowing the two to continue to enjoy the high pay.
Sections of the law that the court nullified entitled Mr Kibaki and his predecessor, Mr Moi, to a Sh379,500 house allowance per month, a fuel allowance (Sh247,500), entertainment (Sh247,500) and utilities (Sh379,500).
The law also entitles the duo to have two personal assistants, four secretaries, four messengers, four drivers and bodyguards. Taxpayers also cater for workers in Mr Kibaki’s Nairobi office that was bought at Sh250 million three years ago, and Mr Moi’s office at Kabarnet Gardens off the city’s Ngong Road.
The package has also come under heavy criticism on grounds that the retired presidents left office as rich men with property worth billions of shillings and vast business interests.