Kenyan taxpayers groan under heavy burden to keep the country’s wealthy former presidents happy as their fat retirement package shoots past $1 million mark

Former presidents Mwai Kibaki (Far left) Daniel Moi (middle) and incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta (Far right) at a past event. (Hivisasa)
  • The office of former presidents Mwai Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi upkeep has for the first time crossed the Sh100 million mark.
  • The Treasury plans to allocate the retired presidents’ staff Sh117.3 million ($1.173 million) for salaries and allowances in the year starting July 2019, up from the current Sh95 million.
  • This is despite the two retired presidents receiving pension of Sh74 million per annum and having left office as rich men with property worth billions of shillings and vast business interests.

Kenyan taxpayers are groaning in pain as they struggle to keep the country’s former presidents happy and comfortable in retirement.

The office of former presidents Mwai Kibaki and Daniel Arap Moi upkeep has for the first time crossed the Sh100 million mark. The Treasury plans to allocate the retired presidents’ staff Sh117.3 million ($1.173 million) for salaries and allowances in the year starting July 2019, up from the current Sh95 million — reflecting a 24.8% growth.

The new pay increase will see their office budget hit Sh243 million ($2.43 million), highlighting just how hard Kenyan taxpayers have to push themselves to keep the two leaders happy.

The retirement price hike comes even as the Kenyan economy struggles to recover from the 2017 prolonged electioneering period and Kenyans are buried by a mountain of taxes.

This is despite the two retired presidents receiving a pension of Sh74 million per annum and having left office as rich men with property worth billions of shillings and vast business interests.

Apart from that, Kenyan taxpayers will also cater for workers in Mr Kibaki’s Nairobi office that was bought at Sh250 million ($2.5 million) three years ago, and Mr Moi’s office at Kabarnet Gardens, off Ngong Road.

Running costs for Mr Kibaki’s office will rise to Sh108.9 million ($1.089 million) in the year starting July, from the current Sh85 million ($850,000) while that of Mr Moi will increase to Sh79.3 million ($793,000) from Sh75 million ($750,000).

Paying their staff gobbles up the largest chunk of the office running costs with Mr Kibaki’s staff costing Kenyans Sh72.8 million ($728,000) or 67% of the budget. The law entitles the two former presidents to two personal assistants, four secretaries, four messengers, four drivers, housekeepers, home cleaners and bodyguards, bringing the total staff count to 34 office workers excluding security guards who should be at least six.

The two retired presidents further receive additional benefits from the pensions department. Among other things, they are entitled to a fleet of four cars, which include two limousines, a fuel allowance equivalent to 15% of the monthly salary paid to the sitting president, an entertainment budget, petrol as well as house allowance.

Mr Kibaki stepped down from the presidency in 2013 after serving two five-year terms while Mr Moi retired in 2002 having been in power for 24 years.

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