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Shock as Treasury retains budget for late Moi office

By John Mutua April 21st, 2020 2 min read

The Treasury has kept the funding budget for the office of late President Daniel arap Moi in the revised national budget that was tabled in Parliament last week following the coronavirus crisis.

The former president, who died on February 4, had been receiving retirement benefits since leaving office in 2002, including a hefty monthly pension equivalent to 80 percent of the salary paid to the sitting president a hefty monthly pension equivalent to 80 percent of the salary paid to the sitting president, a fleet of luxury cars, a fully-furnished office and about 40 workers.

He was also entitled to other perks like fuel, house and entertainment allowances running into hundreds of thousands of shillings.

The Treasury has now decided to leave the budget allocation for items like payment of workers and office supplies, but withdrew cash meant for purchase of luxury cars and cut fuel cost provisions.

It has cut Sh346, 116 for fuel expenses and withdrawn Sh25 million that had been earlier approved by Parliament for the purchase of cars in line with the benefit entitling Kenya’s former presidents to four cars that are replaced every four years.

But the budget for paying staff working in Moi’s office and that of former President Mwai Kibaki was not cut and remained at Sh126.64 million in the revised budget.

The law also entitled the former presidents to two personal assistants, four secretaries, four messengers, four drivers and bodyguards.

Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani did not respond to the Business Daily’s email and phone calls seeking comment.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) cut President Uhuru Kenyatta’s salary to Sh1.44 million from Sh1.65 million, putting Moi and Kibaki’s monthly pay at Sh1.15 million.

It put the benefits of the two at par with the salary and benefits of top chief executives of State-owned firms.

In the revised budget before Parliament, the Treasury has reduced Moi and Kibaki’s pension budget by Sh7 million to Sh67 million to reflect stoppage of payment for the late president following his death on February 4.

“We paid pension up to February 4 and stopped,” said a top Treasury official who sought anonymity, citing sensitivity of the matter.

The mini-budget, which was tabled in Parliament last Tuesday, comes in a period when State revenue collections are expected to shrink by about Sh100 billion on reduced economic activities and tax cuts rolled out to cushion the economy from the effects of the disease.

Running the former presidents’ office will cost the public Sh348.8 million in the year to June, with compensation to their own staff, excluding staff seconded from the government, taking Sh126 million.

Aides seconded from the government, including press secretaries and security officers, are paid by the parent ministry.

The late Moi came to power in 1978 after Kenya’s founding president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died. He remained in power until the end of 2002.

Retirement benefits for former presidents have come under sharp focus, especially in the past couple of years when allocations increased by large margins.

In 2015, a High Court judge stopped the government from paying allowances to the former presidents after finding that they were an unnecessary expense. The Attorney-General has since appealed the decision, allowing the two to continue enjoying their retirement emoluments.

The government also caters for workers at Mr Kibaki’s Nairobi office that was bought at Sh250 million three years ago, and Moi’s office at Kabarnet Gardens, off Ngong Road. Mr Kibaki stepped down as president in 2013 after serving two five-year terms.