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Governor James Ongwae to take home Sh10m and a fuel guzzler when he retires

RIFT VALLEY
By Erick Abuga | February 22nd 2017
Governor James Ongwae

Governor James Ongwae will take home Sh10 million and other hefty benefits at the end of his term if a bill passed by MCAs becomes law.

The Kisii County Retirement Benefits (Governor and Designated Officers) Bill, tabled by Chitago Borabu MCA Albert Oino, comes at a time when the country is preparing for elections.

If the bill is signed into law, Mr Ongwae will also get a four-wheel-drive fuel guzzler, a fully furnished office, office staff and a bodyguard.

His deputy, Joash Maangi, will take home Sh8 million, while former mayors will each pocket Sh5 million.

Those leaving the offices of governor, deputy governor, speaker of the county assembly and chairperson of the County Public Service Board as well as MCAs and retired councillors will get pension and other retirement benefits, according to the bill, which also says the vehicle given to the outgoing governor will be replaced every four years.

The car will be maintained by taxpayers.

A retired deputy governor will be paid Sh300,000 per month, the same as a retired speaker. Their spouses and children aged below 21 will be entitled to a medical cover that includes treatment outside the country.

A retiring deputy governor will also get a four-wheel-drive car not exceeding 3.4cc engine capacity.

Upon the the death of a retired governor or a deputy governor, his family will be entitled to 50 per cent of their pension and a house allowance of 23 per cent of their current monthly salary. All retired MCAs and former councillors will be paid Sh50,000 per month.

In a statement, Kenan Miruka, the county deputy director of communications, said the bill would be presented to the governor who would consider its merits before acting on it as prescribed by law.

"While it is healthy to debate the proposal by Members of the County Assembly regarding retirement benefits, we should not put the cart before the horse. Let us avoid innuendo and not politicise the issue," he said.

A report of the joint departmental Committee on Culture, Sports and Community Social Services and Budget proposed seeking expert advice from the Retirement Benefits Authority, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the Controller of Budget.

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