Taxpayers saved Sh100 million monthly in the quarter to September on the back of withdrawing retirement benefits. This also includes staff attached to the late President Daniel arap Moi.
The pay and perks made to constitutional officeholders and the retired presidents dropped. The Controller of Budget disclosed the drop to Sh655.27 million.
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Taxpayers budget provision
“The reduction in the budget provisions compared to a similar period financial year 2019/20 was instigated by a lower budget for the Auditor-General and the office of the former presidents. This followed the death of the second president of Kenya.” Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o disclosed in a report tabled in Parliament.
Kenya went without an Auditor-General for over 10 months to October last year. This after Edward Ouko retired in August 2019, eliminating from the budget. The public auditor’s pay estimated at an average of Sh1.8 million per month.
The bulk of the Sh330.23 million drop in pay expenditure linked to the retirement benefits. These associated with the office of former President Moi who died in February last year.
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Mr. Moi’s juicy retirement benefits were paid from two offices. The Treasury paid his pension and also disclosed it as a combined figure with that of President Mwai Kibaki. This stood at Sh111 million in the year to June 2019.
The former president receives retirement benefits since leaving office in 2002. These include a hefty monthly pension equivalent to 80% 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.
Presidency budget paid for other benefits. These include the purchase of luxury cars, office space and equipment, and dozens of aides.
Mr. Moi had about 40 staff at taxpayers’ expense, including personal assistants, secretaries, messengers, drivers, and also bodyguards.
Annual budget changes
The Treasury cut the annual budget for salaries and allowances for constitutional officeholders. They changed to Sh4.17 billion in the year to June 2021 from Sh4.64 billion in a similar period last year. They followed Mr. Moi’s death and the absence of an Auditor-General between August 2019 to September last year.
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Mr. Ouko retired in August 2019 but Parliament took more than 10 months to appoint his successor. This gap led to the cut in budgetary allocation for salary and allowances for the office.
Mr 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 came under heavy criticism on the grounds. These also stated that they left office as rich men with property worth billions of shillings and vast business interests.
In 2015, a High Court judge stopped the government from paying allowances to the former presidents. They also declared as an unnecessary expense.
The Attorney-General has since appealed the decision, allowing the two to continue enjoying their retirement emoluments.