- Treasury has however rejected the lawmakers' request because the country is facing harsh economic times.
- The lawmakers served under the defunct local municipalities whose place has now been taken over by ward representatives commonly known MCAs.
Former councillors in the defunct Lamu municipality have called on the national government to hasten their monthly pension and retirement package as Mashujaa reward.
They are set to benefit from a Sh2.6 billion windfall in the next financial year, after Treasury accepted to pay them a one-off gratuity.
The councillors have been pushing to be paid gratuity and monthly payments that would have totalled to Sh22 billion, a proposal that was rejected by the Treasury.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani however said the councillors would have to wait for at least the next financial year, due to harsh economic times.
According to Treasury, all former councillors who served for more than four terms numbering 328, will be paid Sh 664,000 each in a one-off payment, while those who served under four terms numbering 11,919, will be paid Sh 200,000 each.
Kenya has more than 1,200 former councillors having served from 1963 to 2013 who feel their efforts played a big part in the devolution enjoyed by majority of Kenyans.
In Lamu, however,most of them are wallowing in poverty and are requesting that the funds be dispatched to them before the 2022 General Election.
They served as lawmakers under the defunct local municipalities whose place has now been taken over by ward representatives commonly known as Members of the County Assembly after the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
Former Lamu county council mayor Famau Ahmed,74, accused the government of neglect and unfair treatment of former leaders.
Famau, who served as Faza ward councillor from 1965 to 2012, said it was disappointing that the government had failed to prioritise them after so many years.
“We tirelessly served this country but look at us reeling in poverty like we did nothing. Let them pay us off as they promised and stop carrying this thing forward,” Ahmed said.
Sharifa Abubakar,54, who was the first female Bajuni nominated councilor, served from 1997 to 2007, urged president Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and have them paid.
She said most of them are struggling in life and are unable to make ends meet.
“We are old and so telling us to wait until the next financial year is equal to paying our graves. Some of our colleagues have since died waiting,” Abubakar said.
She dismissed Treasury’s claim and said the government has the resources to pay them if they wanted.
“If they are paying salaries for those other civil servants, they should be able to grant us our packages,” she said.
Former Mpeketoni councillor Francis Njeru,70, who served from 1979 to 2013, can barely fend for himself as he struggles to make ends meet.
He laments that the government they served so diligently has forgotten about them.
He urged President Kenyatta to remember them when making appointments to various public offices as they have the experience and will.
“We are here, we have the capability and the desire to serve if called upon because we posses the experience,” Njeru said.
Abdulaziz Kicheko,54, who served as Faza ward councillor from 1997 to 2007, urged political leaders to help them push treasury to pay them off.
Kicheko currently works as a boda boda operator in Lamu Island in order to make a living.
He said the lives they live was shameful considering the government is holding onto their retirement package.