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September 18, 2018

Nakuru governor promises ex-councillors pay, benefits

Governor Lee Kinyanjui with a former Nakuru mayor Alicien Chelaite on Saturday /RITA DMARY
Governor Lee Kinyanjui with a former Nakuru mayor Alicien Chelaite on Saturday /RITA DMARY

A bill will be tabled in the Nakuru assembly to push for payment of retirement benefits and pension to former Councillors.

During a meeting with former mayors and council chairmen, Governor Lee Kinyanjui said leaders who served in the defunct local governments laid the ground for the current county governments system.

The former councillors said they were disillusioned because the national government had abandoned them and they should be credited for building hospitals, schools, factories and other infrastructure.

The governor said another meeting to be attended by all former councillors will be held later in the year.

“A number of governors occupy offices previously used by mayors while subcounty officers occupy premises used by council chairmen,” Kinyanjui said.

He urged MCAs to pass the bill because it will benefit them when they retire from politics.

The governor said corruption arises from lack of benefits for former leaders. He said some leaders amass wealth to cushion themselves later on in life.

“We will take to the assembly a bill that if passed will see names of streets and roads named after the former councillors,” Kinyanjui said.

He also promised to enlist the former leaders on the NHIF.

The former mayors and council chairmen will get special car stickers to exempt them from paying parking fees.

Former mayor John Kitilit ( 2009-2011 ) said governors should leave a legacy and giving them a gratuity is a move in the right direction.

The last Mayor of Nakuru - Mohamed Suraw ( 2011- 2013 ) - said Kinyanjui should appoint some of the former leaders to his government.

Alicien Chelaite, a former Nakuru mayor and Rongai MP, asked those eyeing political seats in 2022 to respect those currently in leadership because their time will come and they will demand the same.

At least 1,200 former councillors have been demanding Sh 1.5 million each, translating to Sh18 billion compensation for “their toil and dedicated service” to the people and as a sendoff package.

The group of civic leaders who served in the defunct county councils claim they were entitled to a ‘reasonable’ gratuity after working hard to lay the foundation for devolution.

The former councillors said they were living in poverty and asked for a one-off payment of Sh1.5 million and a monthly stipend of Sh30,000 to cushion themselves against the “harsh economic times that befell them in the 2013 General Election which ushered in devolution”.

“County governments could not have taken off successfully had it not been for the assets they inherited from councils. They are just continuing what we started. It is a pity that while MPs had gratuity, we who initiated everything do not have a pension,” Kitilit said.

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