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Retired judges to get over Sh65m in benefits

KENYA
By Alphonce Shiundu | June 17th 2016

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, his deputy Kalpana Rawal, and judge Philip Tunoi are assured of good financial packages as they exit the Judiciary.

The three will take home about Sh65 million in retirement benefits.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Thursday directed justices Rawal and Tunoi to surrender their Government-issued vehicles and medical cards; hours after their positions were advertised.

Returning all Government property in their custody is a condition for them to access the millions in their retirement benefits.

According to one of the judges who spoke to The Standard, the letters from the JSC said that their pensions will be calculated as per the prescriptions in the Pensions Act.

The judges are entitled to a gratuity calculated at 31 per cent of their annual pay for every year worked.

Information gleaned from some of the judges, and details from the Chief Justice's wealth declaration forms, and calculations of their salaries shows that the three retired judges will take home at least over Sh65 million in retirement benefits.

From the Chief Justice's Wealth Declaration Forms released in April it indicated his monthly gross pay, excluding allowances as Sh1.5 million.

The calculation with the gratuity works out to an estimated Sh27.9 million for the five years he has been at the helm of the Judiciary.

Justice Tunoi, 72, who has been in the Judiciary for 30 years will go home with Sh22 million.

30 years of service

"When I retire from the Bench after 30 years (of service) I will be entitled to a lumpsum of Sh22 million, and that is all which I am worth after 30 years on the Bench. When I joined the Judiciary, we used to earn Sh22,000 a month," said Tunoi in an interview with The Standard just when the bribery allegations against him came to light in February.

Rawal joined the Judiciary on June 2, 2000, and retired Tuesday, after 16 years in service.

Rawal was appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal on December 19, 2011 and then rose to the position of Deputy Chief Justice and Vice President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, on May 29, 2013.

Rawal's lumpsum, for the 16 years, is not easy to place, because her starting salary and her final salary are unknown.

But going by what Tunoi is taking home and given her seniority as the second-in-command, it will not be less than Sh15 million.

The judges will get a portion of their amount in lumpsum and be paid a pension for life, and whatever remains, will be given to their dependents.

A judge of the Supreme Court earns at least Sh750,000, Tunoi said.

"I have in the bank a total of Sh15 million that is all. I hope to take that home and retire on it and live on my goats and sheep," said Tunoi when interviewed.

These calculations are, however, not final, only JSC knows the final amount.

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