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Proposed ‘Njagua Bill’ to lower retirement age to 50 is illogical

Tuesday September 17 2019

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The proposed bill by Starehe MP Charles Njagua Kanyi - aka Jaguar - seeking to have Kenyan civil servants retire at 50 years instead of the current 60 is ill-conceived.

The proponent of this motion seems detached from the reality in Kenya.

The idea is untenable and meant to punish Kenyans who went to school with the hope of leading a good life.

People in their 50s and 60s have children in high school and university. If they retire at 50, the children will drop out of school for lack of fees, worsening the unemployment crisis as we will have many jobless youth.

Due to lack of jobs, many youth start working in their 30s and will not enjoy the fruits of their education if retired in their prime.

Many even delay marriage till in their 40s, when they can sustain their young families. Such a bill will only disrupt their lives.


With Njagua’s proposal, Kenyans who secure jobs at 35 will work for 15 or fewer years then retire to create a new crisis in their rural areas.

Those hired in their 20s, just after high school, like police officers and soldiers, are the ones who should retire at 50 — after 30 years in service.

But a medical doctor hired at 30 should retire at 60 to compensate for the lengthy study.

For their efficient systems, in the developed world, somebody can be employed at 20, or even 40, and rise to the top by retirement.

But in the developing countries, at 40, or even 50, somebody is a junior officer who married late and could be struggling to fend for a young family.

When these civil servants retire they simply go and perish in rural areas, where they spend their sunset drinking illicit brews compounded with poor diet.


And didn’t I hear former Jubilee Party honcho David Murathe say President Uhuru Kenyatta is too young to retire when his second and final term ends in 2022?

Instead of debating such a motion, the August House should be reducing their astronomical salaries, among the highest.

Olorkisoi oriop Kirui, Kajiado

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If you want to live in misery and destitution and die early, fall for the bait of early retirement.

In Kenya, it’s assumed that people retire because they are no longer of value to society and so are sent home to die on their farm, near their relatives.

Even retirement gifts are a jembe and wheelbarrow, quite handy for digging graves, and a sheep to cleanse the burial.

Njagua should be encouraging his fellow youth to start their own businesses. Otherwise, he should draft a law that will make retirement attractive because, with improved life expectancy, retiring at 50 will only condemn one to 30 years of idleness.

Robert Musamali, Nairobi

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Njagua’s idea of reducing the retirement age to 50 years is welcome when the country is faced with youth unemployment.

Encourage self-employment instead. Should the bill become law, our leaders should seek a solution for unemployment.

For a country that has a high level of unemployment, the hopes of youth are at the mercy of vices.

Joseph Macharia, Nairobi