Commission rejects Kenya leaders' hefty send-off perks

The privileged lot. Kenya VP Kalonzo Musyoka (left), President Mwai Kibaki (second left), Prime Minister Raila Odinga and House Speaker Kenneth Marende (right). Parliament is preparing Bills to award them hefty send-off perks. FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP  NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) has rejected two new Bills that prescribe hefty retirement packages for Kenya's President, the Vice-President, Prime Minister and other senior state officers.

Commission chairman Charles Nyachae said the setting of retirement packages for the state officers was the mandate of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

Mr Nyachae added that he will be writing to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Kenneth Marende, to stop Parliament from working on the Bills.

The two Bills are the Presidential Retirement Benefits (amendment) Bill 2012 and the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Bill, 2012.

The Bills were published late last week, and were awaiting debate in the House.

While the former seeks to amend the retirement benefits for President Kibaki, the latter goes on to provide for the retirement package of the Deputy President, the Chief Justice and his deputy, the Attorney General, the Chief of Defence Forces, and the Speakers of the Senate and National Assembly, plus their deputies.

The CIC boss said that so far, his commission had no evidence that the Bills had been approved by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, House Speaker Kenneth Marende and his deputy Farah Maalim are poised to get over $588,000 (Sh50 million) lump sum pay out as soon as they leave office, if the two Bills are approved.

The two Deputy Prime Ministers Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta will also have a mouth-watering golden handshake when the National Accord expires on Election Day in March 4, 2013.

Four cooks

The deal is so good for these officers such that even if they die in their retirement, their children will get paid up to half the benefits until they reach 24 years, and in some cases, the taxpayer will foot the bill of the child for the rest of that child’s life.

They will also be eligible for a monthly pension at 80 per cent of their current monthly salaries for the rest of their lives.

They will also get house, entertainment, fuel, and utilities allowances, computed as a fraction of their current salary, for the rest of their lives.

Finance minister Njeru Githae has proposed in the Bills that the President’s benefits calculated at between 15 per cent and 80 per cent of his salary.

He wants a maximum of six security guards, and four cooks, four gardeners, four house keepers, four laundry persons all paid for by the taxpayer.

The Finance minister has also recommended a diplomatic passport for a retired President Kibaki and First Lady Lucy Kibaki

Mr Odinga, Mr Musyoka and Mr Marende will each get $64,000 (Sh5.4 million) to take home.

Mr Maalim will get a lumpsum payout of $42,000 (Sh3.6 million).

President Kibaki will go home with the lion’s share with Sh25.2 million having served as Kenya’s Head of State for two terms, after he was sworn in on December 30, 2002.

He earns a salary of $8,200 (Sh700,000) every month and allowances of $15,800 (Sh1.34 million). His total monthly income is $24,000 (Sh2 million).

The President has earned this money since 2002. The same budget shows that the Treasury had earmarked $588,000 (Sh50 million) for the President’s gratuity for the financial year 2012-2013.

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