31 December 2012

Kenya: Kibaki Pension Set to Rise

Kenyans are likely to pay President Kibaki a higher pension than the Sh234 million they have so far paid to retired president Moi at least Sh234 million since he left office in December 2002.

On Wednesday, MPs are expected to enact a law that will compel taxpayers to pay President Kibaki a 'farewell' lumpsum of Sh25 million and commit themselves to paying him a pension of at least Sh1 million per month for the rest of his life.

If he assents to the proposed law, President Kibaki will be earning more in retirement than he is earning while still in office.

He earns a salary of Sh700,000 every month and allowances of Sh1.34 million. His total monthly income is Sh2 million.

This year's budget shows that President Kibaki has an annual salary of Sh8.4 million and Sh16.1 in allowances every year. The President has earned this money since 2002.

The same budget shows that the Treasury had earmarked Sh50 million for the President's gratuity for the financial year 2012-2013.

Currently, Kibaki is entitled to collect a Sh17 million lump sum payment as a 'goodbye token from the hardworking taxpayers.'

However, the Presidential Retirement Benefits (Amendment) Bill 2012 which MPs will start debating on Wednesday proposes that the President be paid a lump sum amount of Sh12.6 million for every term served bringing the total to Sh25.2 million for the two terms he has served so far.

If the MPs enact the two Bills before Parliament--the Presidential Retirement Benefits (amendment) Bill 2012 and the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Bill, 2012, Kibaki will upon leaving office, be paid pension at the rate of 80 per cent of his final salary of Sh700,000 meaning he would earn Sh560,000 a month.

In addition he would be paid 40 per cent of his current salary as entertainment allowance, which is an additional Sh280, 000.

Finance Minister Njeru Githae has said the increase is because of inflation. "What this Bill is trying to do is to cater for inflation.

Since the Presidential Retirement Act was passed in 2003, there has been no increase in the allowances of a retired president.

We have learnt from experience because we now have one retired president, Mr. Daniel arap Moi. It is from the experience that we have received that we saw it necessary to cater for his expenses," Githae told Parliament last week.

Moi is paid as per the Presidential Retirements Benefits Act (2003). The cash includes monthly pension of Sh950,000 which is equal to 80 per cent of the monthly salary currently paid to President Kibaki.

Each month Moi has been receiving Sh300,000 house allowance to cater for both his urban and rural homes, Sh300,000 for electricity, water and telephone facilities, Sh200,000 entertainment allowance and Sh200,000 as fuel allowance.

Moi is also entitled to two new cars of his choice, replaceable every 3 years, each car having an engine capacity of at least 3000cc, two four-wheel drive motor vehicles of his choice also replaceable every three years.

He is also entitled to a fully furnished office, two personal assistants, four secretaries, four messengers, four drivers, two cooks, two housekeepers, two gardeners, two laundry persons and four house cleaners. All these staff are paid for by the taxpayers.

President Kibaki will enjoy similar services and staff. However, the Tenth Parliament wants to increase these benefits and pay him more.

The Bill by Finance minister Njeru Githae proposes that Kibaki get six security guards, and four cooks, four gardeners, four house keepers, four laundry persons all paid for by the taxpayer.

He also proposes that President Kibaki and his wife receive diplomatic passports. Moi retired in 2002 after serving as Kenya's President for 24 years, 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. The MPs will at the same time debate the proposal to grant a hefty send-off package to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, House Speaker Kenneth Marende and his deputy Farah Maalim as well as the two Deputy Prime Ministers Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta.

The proposed benefits of these officers is structured such that even if they die in their retirement, their children can continue receiving the benefits until they 24 years.

One of the clauses even stipulates conditions under which taxpayers are expected to continue to foot the bill of the child for the rest of that child's life.

Other state officers expected to benefit from the proposed bill include Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, his deputy, Attorney- General Githu Muigai and the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces Julius Karangi.

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