Government not in a hurry to redeploy Daniel Moi staff

Wednesday March 18 2020
Lee Pic

Former President Daniel arap Moi's longest serving Press Secretary Lee Njiru during a past the interview. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC MATARA

The government is not in a hurry to redeploy public servants who had been seconded to former President Daniel arap Moi, government Spokesman Colonel (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna has revealed.

In an exclusive interview with the Nation, Mr Oguna said the employees of the former Head of State, will be given time to mourn before they are redeployed.

MOURN

“The government will not immediately re-deploy the employees, they must be given time to mourn the departed president, before they are reassigned new roles. They were very close to the late president and must be given time to heal,” Mr Oguna told the Nation.

This comes days after the National Treasury said it is set to stop funding the office of former president Moi in what will save taxpayers hundreds of millions in retirement benefits offered to the former Head of State.

Mzee Moi, who was buried last Wednesday at his Kabarak home, had been receiving retirement benefits, including a fleet of luxury cars, a fully-furnished office and about 40 workers since leaving office in 2002.

The former president was entitled to four secretaries, two personal assistants, four messengers, four drivers, housekeepers, home cleaners and bodyguards.

SECURITY OFFICERS

Mr Oguna told the Nation that the public servants who include security officers, will be re-assigned new duties through a circular at an ‘appropriate time.’

Mzee Moi, who died on February 4 at The Nairobi Hospital aged 95, had a multi-million shilling palatial home in Kabarak, Nakuru County.

On his expansive Kabarak farm, the former President owned multi-billion shilling property including Kabarak Primary School, Kabarak High School, Kabarak University, Kabarak Guest House, a church and other establishments.

He had homes including the Kabarnet Gardens home in Nairobi.

The former president had seven known private residences-one in Nairobi and six in Rift Valley.

Colonel (Rtd) Oguna, on Friday revealed that the former president’s homes will remain guarded, but his office will be wound up. All the homes of the former president have round the clock security.

According to sources that sought anonymity, the former president had at least 30 police officers some guarding his homes and others serving as his bodyguards.

“The bodyguards will be among civil servants that will be re-deployed,” revealed the source.

PRESS SECRETARY

Mzee Moi had an office with staff including his longest serving Press Secretary Lee Njiru, who had served the former Head of State for over 40 years and Mr John Lokorio who was the former president’s private secretary.

Others include former Standard Group Nakuru Bureau Chief Mr Alex Kiprotich, who has been Mr  Njiru’s deputy and Colonel Alexander Kiprop, who had been Mzee Moi’s aide de camp since he left office in 2002.

Recently, the Public Service Commission extended Mr Njiru’s contract to September 11, 2021. The contract was earlier scheduled to end on June 30, 2020.

Mr Kiprotich was appointed in 2016 to serve as Mr Njiru’s deputy. However, Mzee Moi was reluctant to let go of Mr Njiru, who was his most trusted aide.

Mr Njiru was recruited to the office of former president Jomo Kenyatta in 1977, and Moi absorbed him when he took over from Mzee Kenyatta in 1978. Mr Njiru is the longest serving civil servant in Mzee Moi’s office.

Last week, a source from the Treasury revealed that some of Mzee Moi’s staff will be declared redundant.  

PENSION STOPPED

The source revealed that the Treasury will not have an allocation for the Moi office in the new financial year and his pension will be stopped.

Moi had been receiving a monthly pension equivalent to 80 per cent of the salary paid to the sitting president.

He was also entitled to fuel, house and entertainment allowances running into hundreds of thousands of shillings.

Running Moi’s office and that of former President Mwai Kibaki will cost the public Sh243 million in the year to June, with compensation to their own staff, excluding staff seconded from the government, taking Sh126 million.

Aides seconded from the government, including press secretaries and security officers, are paid by the parent ministry.

Data from the Treasury shows that Mr Moi and Mr Kibaki’s monthly pay and perks stood Sh74 million in the year to June, up from Sh64 million in the same period a year earlier.

ALLOWANCES

In 2015, a High Court judge stopped the government from paying allowances worth millions of shillings.

However, the Attorney-General appealed the decision, allowing the two to continue enjoying their retirement emoluments.

Former presidents are also entitled to four cars that are replaced every four years.

The government also caters for workers at Mr Kibaki’s Nairobi office that was bought at Sh250 million three years ago, and Moi’s office at Kabarnet Gardens, off Ngong Road, Nairobi.

Mr Kibaki retired as president in 2013 after serving two five-year terms.