Governors, deputy governors, county assembly speakers and MCAs will pocket a Sh3.54 billion one-off in gratuities should a proposed law sail through in the county assemblies and Parliament.
The County State Officers Pension Bill 2020, sponsored by the County Assemblies Forum (CAF), seeks to give exiting office holders the money in compensation for the tenure in office.
The Bill proposes lump sum payouts and pensions for the county officials as well as other perks such as luxurious cars to be enjoyed by the officials upon their exit from office next year.
Under the Bill, Kenyan taxpayers will also have to fork out hundreds of millions on a yearly basis to fund the pension packages for the county officials.
Should the Bill become law, an MCA will receive a payment of about Sh2.46 billion, governors Sh521.7 million, deputy governors Sh350.1 million whereas speakers will pocket Sh145.7 million.
The Bill proposes that each outgoing governor will receive an equivalent of a one-year salary as lump sum payment.
A county governor currently earns Sh924,000 per month as basic salary.
Once they leave office, they will each receive Sh11.1 million as a lump sum payment.
Moreover, each governor will be entitled to a monthly pension that constitutes 80 per cent of their current salaries.
This means each governor will receive Sh739,200 as a monthly pension for life. However, should the retired governor pass on, 50 per cent of the benefits can be transferred to their spouses or a kin.
For deputy governors, the Bill also proposes a one-year lump sum pay of their current salaries.
Currently, a deputy governor takes home Sh621,250 as basic salary. After leaving office, the Bill proposes that they earn a sh7.45 million lump sum pay.
They will also enjoy a monthly pension which will be 60 per cent of their current monthly salary. This means that a former deputy governor will enjoy a Sh372,750 monthly pension for life. If they die, a proportion of the perks can be transferred to their spouses.
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County speakers who are the crafters and sponsors of the Bill have also made proposals in their favour.
A county speaker currently pockets Sh259,870 as monthly basic salary meaning that with the proposed one-year payout, each speaker will rake in Sh3.1 million upon exiting office. They will also be entitled to a monthly pension equivalent to 60 per cent of their current salaries.
That means each former speaker will pocket Sh155,925 per month in pension throughout their lifetime.
Then there’s the MCAs, each currently earning a monthly basic pay of Sh144,375. If the Bill sails through, they will be entitled to a one-year lump sum pay of Sh1.7 million each. They will also be entitled to a monthly pension.
“An MCA is entitled to a pension if his aggregate period of reckonable service is two terms of County Assembly and he has attained the age of 45 years,” reads the Bill in part.
The Bill has also proposed other perks for governors, deputy governors and speakers such as 3,000cc cars, drivers, personal assistants and a housekeeper whose bills will be footed by taxpayers.
Notably, if the officials are elected or appointed to State positions, then the monthly pension is reduced by the amount of the salaries in their new postings.
CAF chair Ndegwa Wahome said that the Bill was aimed at ensuring that State officers at the county level had pension.
“Currently, there is no legal framework that provides for pension for state officers at the county level. This is so despite the fact that social security is guaranteed as a basic right of every person under Article 43 of the Constitution,” said Wahome.
He said the Bill had been crafted following several deliberations between the leadership of assemblies’ forum and the Council of Governors.
“The Bill was developed to mirror the legislation that is currently being implemented by the national government. County assemblies are required to consider and subsequently pass the Bill on or before October 25,” he said.