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Handsome send-off package for Uhuru and DP William Ruto

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Deputy President William Ruto during the 57th Jamhuri Day national celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi on December 12, 2021. [DPPS]

President Uhuru Kenyatta will pocket Sh80 million as a send-off package when he leaves office later this year with taxpayers coughing up an additional Sh1.33 billion as retirement perks for senior State officers expected to leave office after the August elections. 

Deputy President William Ruto and the two speakers of Parliament will get Sh164 million as retirement perks in the 12 months to June next year, according to a supplementary budget tabled in the National Assembly by Treasury. 

And with the 12th Parliament ending after the elections, the pension kitty for lawmakers is set to increase by Sh1.09 billion with most of it being gratuity to nominated MPs that might return to the August House. 

The mini budget tabled in the National Assembly on Tuesday shows that allocation for monthly pension and gratuity (one-off retirement package) for retired presidents in the Financial Year 2022-23 increased to Sh2.013 billion from Sh1.02 billion in the current financial year ending June.

With the elections being held in six months, President Uhuru is expected to leave the office between September 2 and 4, should there be no run-off or dispute over the poll results.

In addition to a gratuity of Sh72 million, the president is expected to receive a monthly pension of Sh8 million in the 12 months to June 2023. This translates into a monthly pension of Sh666, 666.

However, Uhuru’s monthly pension is little when compared to an average of the monthly paycheck of Sh2.86 million (Sh34.4 million in a year) that former President Mwai Kibaki has been pocketing since July 2020.

Since 2013, Kibaki’s pension in the budget estimates had been lumped with that of retired President Daniel arap Moi. The payment of Moi’s pension was discontinued when he died on February 4, 2020.

Dr Ruto, the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Kenneth Lusaka are set to retire after the August 9 elections, pushing up the pension allocation for Deputy Presidents and other designated State officers by more than a third to Sh664 million in the Financial Year 2022-23.

In the current financial year ending June, the state officers in this category were entitled to retirement perks of up to Sh500 million, according to a mini-budget tabled before the National Assembly by the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury Ukur Yatani.

Should he lose in the August 9 general elections, a retired Ruto and “other state officers” will get a monthly pension of Sh14 million beginning around September, the earliest time a new Government is expected to take over.

Gratuity is expected to increase by Sh150 million in the 12 months to June 2023 for retired Deputy President and other designated state officers who include former Prime Minister, former Vice President, Speakers of either houses, Chief Justice, and Deputy Chief Justice.

This means that Ruto will receive a lump sum of at least Sh71.4 million, which is calculated as the sum of two years’ salary for each of the two terms he served as the Deputy President. Ruto’s salary is pegged at Sh1,487,500.

With a monthly salary of Sh1,150,000, Muturi who will also have served two terms as the speaker of the National Assembly will pocket Sh27.6 million as gratuity.

On the other hand, Lusaka who has been the Senate Speaker for only one term, will go home with a cash kitty of Sh13.8 million. Lusaka and Muturi both get a monthly salary of around Sh1.15 million.

Former Chief Justice David Maraga’s gratuity is covered in the current financial year having retired in January last year.

In addition, these State officers will also be entitled to one saloon vehicle of an engine capacity not exceeding 2000 cc, which shall be replaceable once every four years.

The State will also buy for each one four-wheel-drive vehicle of an engine capacity not exceeding 3000 cc, which will also be replaced after every four years. They will also enjoy a fuel allowance equal to 15 per cent of their current monthly salary; full medical and hospital cover for them and their spouses, providing for local and overseas treatment, with a reputable insurance company.

The supplementary budget also provided for additional funding for former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who was allocated Sh3.1 million to refurbish his office. He has also been receiving retirement perks as a designated State officer.

The Retirement Benefits Act, 2015, states that a retired Deputy President or retired Vice President shall, during his or her lifetime, be entitled to a monthly pension equal to 80 per cent of the monthly salary of the entitled person’s last monthly salary while in office.

MPs will receive an additional Sh1.09 billion as a retirement package in the Financial Year 2022-2023 after the end of the 12th Parliament.