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Govt To Fire Kibaki’s Staff

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The National Treasury will cut funds to the office of the late former President Mwai Kibaki, with some of his trusted staff set to be sent home.

The government exchequer will stop funding the office following his death on Friday, April 22 at the age of 90, which will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of shillings in retirement benefits.

Since he left office in 2013 following the election of Uhuru Kenyatta to succeed him as President, Kibaki had been receiving retirement benefits and among them include a fleet of luxury cars, a fully-furnished office and about 40 workers.

Mwai Kibaki’s house in Mweiga, Nyeri built by the government of Kenya at a cost of Ksh400 million. /STANDARD DIGITAL

Kibaki received an annual pension of Ksh34.2 million or Ksh2.85 million per month, which is equivalent to the salary and benefits of top chief executives of State-owned firms.

Taxpayers had to pay Ksh98.6 million in the year ended June to keep his office alive and the Treasury has allocated Ksh101.1 million for the fiscal year starting July 1.

As a result, the Treasury noted that the office will be scrapped and while some workers will be deemed redundant, others on secondment will be reabsorbed in ministries and other agencies, noting that it is in line with the law to pull the plug on Kibaki’s retirement funds upon his death.

“The law demands that payment linked to the Kibaki’s retirement benefits be withdrawn upon death and we expect the office to be wound up over the next three months,” a source at the Treasury was quoted by the Business Daily.

Some of the staffers such as Ngari Gituku will be retained by the ministry that hired him. He was a long-serving civil servant who worked as Kibaki’s private secretary.

However, Stanley Murage, who served as the policy and programmes adviser, will be among those to leave the office following its expulsion. Murage was Kibaki’s only formal policy adviser during his tenure as head of state.

He took up special assignments on behalf of the former Head of State when he was in power and within the bureaucratic circle, had powers similar to former Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura. He was recalled to Kibaki’s retirement office in 2018 having left the government.

The withdrawal will happen in a similar case to that of the office of President Daniel Arap Moi when he died on February 4, 2020. It means that Kenya will for the first time since 2002 not have a budget that will be utilised to keep afloat the workplace of retired presidents.

The Treasury omitted allocations for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s retirement office and staff from the budget for the year starting July, which would have seen an estimated Ksh100 million allocated to a fully furnished office for the retired president, aides, limousines and other perks such as house, fuel and entertainment allowances.

This means that President Uhuru could play a vital role in party politics past the upcoming August 9, 2022, general elections. He cannot vie for the seat again due to a constitutional 10-year term limit, that is two terms of five years each.

He was maintained by the ruling Jubilee Party as party leader for five more years and currently serves as the chairman of the council of Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition, which is helping flagbearer Raila Odinga’s bid to become Kenya’s fifth president.

ODM leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta. /TWITTER

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About author: Digital journalist and managing director with a passion for writing captivating stories. Marvin is a young scribe, a social media, sports, gaming junkie and realist who specialises in viral news, multimedia and investigative storytelling.

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