Former presidents Mwai Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi will earn less pension in the current financial year after the Treasury reduced the annual allocation to them by Sh22 million, reversing last year’s increment that was seen as burdensome to the taxpayers.
The retired presidents have been allocated Sh42 million for pension this year down from Sh64 million in the just ended financial year, according to estimates in the supplementary budget.
Retirement benefits of former presidents have come under sharp criticism, especially in the past couple of years when allocations increased by large margins even as the government insisted it had put in place austerity measures to deal with a bourgeoning wage bill.
The Treasury did not respond to our queries on what informed the cutback.
If awarded equally the smaller package assures each retired president of a monthly payout of Sh1.75 million — an amount that is higher than President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official salary of Sh1.5 million.
The High Court last year stopped the government from paying allowances worth millions of shillings to the two retired presidents after finding that they were an unnecessary burden to the taxpayers.
The Attorney-General has since appealed the decision, allowing the two continue to enjoy the high packages.
Sections of the law that the court nullified entitled Mr Kibaki and his predecessor, Mr Moi, to a Sh379,500 house allowance per month, a fuel allowance (Sh247,500), entertainment perks (Sh247,500) and utilities (Sh379,500).
Mr Kibaki signed the perks into law two weeks before his retirement, effectively awarding himself millions of shillings on his way out.
The taxpayers picked up a Sh150 million bill in the last financial year alone to keep the two former presidents comfortable in retirement.
The law also entitles the duo to two personal assistants, four secretaries, four messengers, four drivers and bodyguards.
Taxpayers also cater for workers in Mr Kibaki’s Nairobi office that was bought at Sh250 million three years ago and Mr Moi’s office at Kabarnet Gardens off the city’s Ngong Road.
Parliament passed the generous package as an incentive for politicians to leave office voluntarily in the knowledge that their comfort was assured.