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Gov't counters allegations by Uhuru on retirement perks, lists benefits granted

In a statement on June 10, Kanze Dena, the Secretary of Communications for the former president, highlighted several issues affecting their operations.

Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura
  • Government spokesperson refuted allegations made by the former president's office regarding benefits entitlement
  • Former president's office is in dispute over the allocation of an office space and funding for its operations
  • Discrepancies exist regarding the number and type of vehicles provided to the retired president's office

In a detailed statement released on June 10, Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura addressed and refuted a series of allegations made by the Office of the fourth Retired President, H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.

These allegations, communicated through the retired president's spokesperson Kanze Dena, pertain to the provision and management of benefits entitled to the former head of state.

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Mwaura clarified that the retired president's office has been provided with a total of 14 vehicles, which include luxury models such as two Range Rover Autobiography, two Range Rover Sport, a Mercedes S600L, an Armoured Land Cruiser V8, and four Prados.

These vehicles are maintained and fuelled by the State House, with recent fuel transactions recorded as late as May 15, 2024.

Maintenance services were also recently conducted on several dates in April and May 2024.

Mwaura dismissed claims about blocked fuel cards, asserting that vehicles are fuelled through the State House Master Card.

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In contrast, Dena had asserted that the former president received only five vehicles—two Toyota Land Cruisers, one Mercedes Benz, one Subaru Forester, and one Range Rover—and that the fuel cards had been inoperative since March 2023.

She further alleged that the vehicles under Mama Ngina Kenyatta’s use, including three Range Rovers, were allocated by previous presidents and were not part of the current provision.

Mwaura stated that the retired president was offered the same office in Nyari, Nairobi, used by the late President Mwai Kibaki.

This office is deemed suitable and aligns with government procurement laws. He accused the former president of seeking to lease his private residence as office space, which would constitute a conflict of interest.

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Dena responded by highlighting that a formal request was made for the valuation of an office chosen by Kenyatta, which has yet to receive a response.

She mentioned that Kenyatta had to personally finance and furnish an office to carry out his duties, including his role as the East African Community Facilitator.

Mwaura confirmed that the former president's office is entitled to 34 staff members, with 33 already in position.

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He noted that the names of two staff members, George Kariuki and Kanze Dena, had not been forwarded for processing.

In her rebuttal, Dena pointed out discrepancies, claiming that the staff count only reached 32, with two awaiting contract renewals.

She also highlighted that communication with the government on these matters has often been informal and unresponsive.

Mwaura emphasised that the government covers salaries, allowances, vehicle maintenance, and official travels for the former president, abiding by the provisions of the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act.

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He acknowledged that only four foreign trips per year are covered, each for a maximum of 14 days, and stressed that all other budgetary matters are managed by the State House Comptroller.

Dena criticised the government's handling of the budget, claiming that the office had minimal access to allocated funds.

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