When President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta finally vacates office as the fourth President of the Republic of Kenya on Tuesday 13 September 2022, he will not go empty-handed. He is set to receive the biggest retirement package among all Kenyan Presidents, rising to almost three times that of the late President Mwai Kibaki.
As public officer number one, the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act of 2013 states that a retired President is entitled to a lump sum payment on retirement equal to one year’s salary for every term served. As per the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) gazette notice of 1 March 2013, the President earns KSh. 1,237,500 salary during the first year in office, but with an increase of KSh. 103,125 every year. This was revised in Uhuru’s second term to KSh. 1,443,750 million.
Article 151 (3) of the Constitution provides that the retirement benefits payable to a former president, the facilities and privileges they enjoy shall not be varied to their disadvantage during their lives.
Uhuru’s Retirement Package:
- A lump sum of KSh. 34.7 million pension for the two terms served. The lump sum payment on retirement is to be equal to one year’s salary.
- A monthly pension equal to 80 percent of the monthly salary currently paid to the President. That translates to KSh. 1,150,000 million. Kibaki received a tax-free pension of over KSh. 900,000 monthly.
- An annual gratuity of KSh 72 million, which will increase to Ksh79.2 million in the 2023/24 financial year. This is almost three times the golden handshake received by retired President Mwai Kibaki of KSh. 25.2 million. This translates to a lifetime salary of KSh. 1.2 million per month.
- A staff of 34 including two personal assistants, four secretaries, four messengers, four drivers, and four bodyguards. The aides will be seconded by the government. Kibaki, meanwhile, had about 40 workers.
- Four cars, including two limousines and two Sports Utility Vehicles, are replaced every four years. Each vehicle should have an engine capacity of at least 3000cc and not exceeding 4000cc.
- A monthly house allowance of KSh. 300,000.
- Fuel allowance of KSh. 200,000 each month.
- Entertainment allowance of KSh. 200,000 every month.
- Utilities like water and electricity at a maximum of KSh. 300,000 per month.
- Full medical cover that allows him to seek treatment both locally and abroad. The insurance will be extended to his wife Margaret Kenyatta.
- Diplomatic passports plus local and international travel allowance of up to four trips a year not exceeding two weeks each and access to the VIP lounge at all airports within Kenya.
However, there is a caveat. President Uhuru will be required to resign from any position in any political party before he can access the pension and retirement benefits. Section 6 (1) of the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act of 2003, provides that a retired President shall not hold office in any political party for more than six months after vacating office as President. This means that Uhuru will have to resign from his twin role as the current Jubilee Party leader and the chairperson of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance Coalition council.
The retired president shall be expected to play a consultative and advisory role to the government and the people of Kenya and therefore may be called upon by the government to specific official functions. In such instances, President Kenyatta is to be remunerated with a reasonable allowance.
Worthy to Note
In 2015, the High Court stopped the government from paying allowances worth millions of shillings to former Presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki after finding that they were an unnecessary burden to the taxpayers. However, the Attorney-General appealed the decision, allowing the two to continue enjoying the high pay.
The payment of a retired President’s pension is discontinued upon death.