SECTIONS

Retired governors don't deserve hefty pensions

There should be no undeserved perks whatsoever at the expense of the public. [iStockphoto]

That governors and their deputies, who are elected to be servants of the people, want to fleece the same people in retirement is deeply troubling.

After earning millions while in office, county heads and their deputies want to be treated like kings on retirement.

One of the citizens’ last lines of defence is the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, which says that the wage bill would be unsustainable and burdensome for Kenyans, over a third of who live on less than $1.9 a day, and are struggling to even pay for a two-kilo packet of maize flour.

To receive Sh739,200 every month after working for a maximum of 10 years, is an insult to the millions of Kenyans who voted in these officials. These leaders sought mandate so they would help in the management of Kenyans’ taxes and make lives easier for citizens. Giving them hefty perks will make our lives harder.

Members of Parliament have been here before. Two-term MPs receive a pension of Sh125,000 a month, and a recent recommendation that 500 former MPs who served between 1984 and 2001 be paid Sh100,000 as a lifetime pension, with the payment backdated to July 1, 2010, is painful to hear. More than 12,000 former councillors have also pushed for the payment of a one-off honorarium and monthly pension.

In a country that is struggling with debt repayment amid economic slowdowns weighing heavily on the common mwananchi, it is sad that the governors could be happy asking for pensions that could cost the taxpayer Sh2.3 billion a year.

With this attitude, where protectors of public interest abuse their privilege and suck every drop of blood from hardworking Kenyans, many who live from hand to mouth but continue to be taxed at every stop when they buy basic commodities, the gap between the haves and the have-nots will only widen.

An elected person should be a servant and should be treated as such. There should be no undeserved perks whatsoever at the expense of the public.