July 17, 2024

Revealed! How much taxpayers will spend on Uhuru, Raila, Kalonzo retirement perks

4 min read
How much taxpayers will spend on Uhuru, Raila, Kalonzo retirement perks

Taxpayers to spend Sh645.09 million to cover the retirement benefits of Uhuru, Raila, Kalonzo, and other retired top officials

Taxpayers to spend Sh645.09 million to cover the retirement benefits of Uhuru, Raila, Kalonzo, and other retired top officials.

In the fiscal year that begins in July, taxpayers will fork over Sh645.09 million to pay for the benefits of former president Uhuru Kenyatta, former prime minister Raila Odinga, and past vice presidents, underscoring the hefty expense of maintaining senior state workers in retirement.

A significant portion of the funds will go to Mr. Kenyatta, according to the approved expenditure plan for the fiscal year 2023–2024, which also includes rewards for former vice presidents Moody Awori and Kalonzo Musyoka.

Mr. Kenyatta will receive benefits of Sh440 million for things like keeping a fleet of cars maintained and receiving home, petrol, and entertainment allowances.

The total State spending to sustain the four, however, marks a drop from the Sh832.38 million that has been spent in this financial year.

Payments to former State officers, including former Members of Parliament, continue to eat into tax revenues amid a push for a pay rise and increased retirement perks by sitting officials such as members of county assemblies.

The latest spending drop is due to the fact that benefits such as the Sh140 million that was used to purchase vehicles and other transport equipment for Mr Kenyatta who left office in September last year will not be incurred in the new financial year.

Mr. Awori, who was the vice president under the Kibaki government, will receive Sh51.24 million in expenses, an increase from Sh43.06 million in the current fiscal year.

While Mr. Odinga’s allocation will decrease from Sh78.69 million to Sh74.16 million, Mr. Musyoka will receive Sh70.21 million, an increase from Sh59.23 million in the current fiscal year.

After being reduced from Sh100.1 million to Sh10.4 million in the current fiscal year, the allocation to the office of Mr. Kibaki, who passed away on February 4, 2020, will now be discontinued.

The allocation to Uhuru Kenyatta is in spite of threats by some politicians affiliated with the ruling coalition to push for withholding of his perks unless he retires from politics.

The benefits of ex-presidents and other former State officers have come under sharp focus amid increased taxes, even as the State insists it has put in place austerity measures to deal with a growing public sector wage bill.

Perks of retired presidents are provided for in the Presidential Retirement Benefits (Amendment) Act 2013, which was briefly stopped in 2015 through a court case, but allowed to resume later.

Top perks paid to Mr Kenyatta include Sh176 million to facilitate his trips within Kenya and overseas, with foreign travel and subsistence, and other transportation costs taking Sh120 million.

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The budget for purchasing furniture and other equipment for the retired president’s office will take an additional Sh5 million after Sh50 million was allocated in the current financial year.

Insurance will gobble Sh23 million while Sh49 million be for hospitality supplies such as refreshments.

Lubricants and fuel for Mr. Kenyatta’s fleet of cars will cost taxpayers Sh25 million. About Sh18.8 million will be used to maintain those vehicles while another Sh17 million will be for general maintenance on other assets.

The permanent staff in Uhuru Kenyatta’s office will be costing taxpayers Sh51.09 million in basic salaries and Sh29.49 million in allowances annually.

The retired president is also entitled to a lump sum payment of Sh34.56 million, calculated as a sum equal to a one-year salary for each term served.

Mr. Kenyatta is also entitled to a monthly pension, equivalent to 80 percent of the current President’s salary, which stands at Sh1.44 million.

The Act also entitles the retired President to two personal aids, four secretaries, four messengers, and four drivers and bodyguards, pushing the office and home workers to 34 under the scheme funded by taxpayers.

Mr Kenyatta is also entitled to two new cars of his choice, each car having an engine capacity not exceeding 3000cc, and another two four-wheel drive motor vehicles of his choice, each one having an engine capacity of at least 3400cc, all replaceable every three years.

He also gets a fully furnished office of up to 1,000 square metres and a KSh200,000 monthly entertainment allowance, a KSh300,000 monthly house allowance, a monthly fuel allowance of KSh200,000 and a medical allowance

The Act also entitles the retired president and his spouse to a KSh300,000 monthly medical allowance and medical cover with a reputable insurance company, entitling him to local and overseas treatment.

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