Kibaki set to be the highest earning officer

Former President Mwai Kibaki. PHOTO/COURTESY

Retired President Mwai Kibaki is set to become the best paid serving and retired public servant, Treasury documents have revealed.

The Treasury’s Budget estimates that are before Parliament for approval indicate that Mr Kibaki’s pension and perks will stand at Sh34.43 million in the financial year set to start in July. This will translate to a monthly average payment of Sh2.86 million.

This is the first time Mr Kibaki’s own pension is appearing in the Budget estimates given that it has since 2013 been lumped with that of President Daniel arap Moi. The payment of Moi’s pension was discontinued when he died on February 4.

At Sh2.86 million, Mr Kibaki’s average monthly payout is more than double President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official salary of Sh1.44 million. It also puts his benefits higher than the salaries and allowances of top chief executives of State-owned firms like KenGen, Kenya-Re and Kenya Power.

Under the proposed budget, Mr Kibaki’s monthly pension is slightly shy of the allocation set for Mr Kenyatta’s and his deputy, William Ruto’s, combined average monthly pay of Sh3.3 million.

A retired president’s monthly pension is set at 80 percent of the salary paid to the sitting president.

He also other perks like fuel, house and entertainment allowances.

The retired presidents’ monthly pay allocation had increased from Sh64 million in the year to June 2017 to Sh74 million in the current year ending June.

Retirement benefits of the retired presidents have come under sharp focus, especially in the past couple of years when allocations increased by large margins, even as the government insisted that it had put in place austerity measures to deal with a growing public sector wage bill.

In 2015, the High Court stopped the government from paying allowances worth millions of shillings to Mr Moi and Mr Kibaki after finding that they were an unnecessary burden to the taxpayers.

The Attorney-General has since appealed the decision, allowing the two to continue enjoying the high pay.

Sections of the law that the court nullified entitled the two to a Sh300,000 house allowance per month, fuel (Sh200,000), entertainment (Sh200,000) and utilities (Sh300,000).

The law also entitles them to two personal assistants, four secretaries, four messengers as well as four drivers and bodyguards, pushing the office and home workers to 34 under the scheme funded by taxpayers.

Retired presidents are also entitled to four cars, including two limousines, that are replaced every four years.

Taxpayers also cater for workers in Mr Kibaki’s Nairobi office that was bought at Sh250 million three years ago.