Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has made a formal application for the lavish pension offered retired vice presidents, adding to the taxpayers’ burden of keeping former officials comfortable in retirement.
Sources at the Treasury say Mr Musyoka made the application last month, weeks after the State eased restrictions on the Opposition leaders’ access to State retirement benefits following the peace deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his rival Raila Odinga.
The Wiper leader is entitled to a lump sum pay of Sh8.64 million, Sh720,000 in monthly lifelong pension and Sh108,000 in fuel allowance every month — benefits that will in coming weeks be extended to Mr Odinga who made a similar application at the start of the year.
The two leaders currently earn a monthly pension of nearly Sh200,000 for the multiple terms they served as MPs for Lang’ata and Mwingi North constituencies respectively.
The MPs pension will be stopped once the two start accessing the lavish benefits that are also enjoyed by former Vice-President Moody Awori, former Speakers Kenneth Marende, Ekwe Ethuro and Francis ole Kaparo, retired deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and two other ex-chief justices who are still alive — Bernard Chunga (1999-2003) and his successor Evan Gicheru (2003-2011).
Under the retirement benefits Act of 2015, a retired vice-president is entitled to a monthly pension equal to 80 per cent of the salary he got in the last month in office, a lump sum payment equal to one year’s salary for each term served and fuel allowance equal to 15 per cent of the monthly salary of current office holder.
Also included in the hefty pension package, medical cover to cater for treatment in both local and foreign hospital that also include their spouses, a four-wheel drive of an engine capacity not exceeding 3,000 cc and two saloon cars each of a 2,000-cc capacity engine. The vehicles are to be replaced after four years.
The application by Mr Musyoka is set to add to the taxpayers’ pain of maintaining the lavish lifestyles of retired top state officers.
The perks also include paying for their including personal assistants, secretaries, messengers, drivers and bodyguards.
Last financial year, taxpayers spent Sh149.2 million on staff and the office of Mr Awori.
President Kenyatta had in 2015 declined to assent to a bill that would have given Mr Musyoka and Mr Odinga the hefty perks, citing their participation in active politics but softened the stance following the handshake in March last year.