Leaders weigh in on Uhuru's retirement perks fiasco

A cross-section of politicians say the former President is entitled to retirement benefits

In Summary
  • The government has denied refusing Uhuru's retirement perks saying they have only declined his private office request.
  • Uhuru's office has claimed the former president is not facilitated in accordance to the law.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Conflicting reactions have greeted the fiasco over former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s retirement perks amid a push and pull between his office and the government.

The retired President’s office on Monday claimed that Uhuru was being denied his retirement benefits by the Kenya Kwanza government with some staff going without salaries.

Through his spokesperson Kanze Dena, Uhuru claimed that his cars were being fuelled from his pocket with the government refusing to also allocate him an office.

The claims were denied by the government, with State spokesperson Isaac Mwaura faulting Uhuru’s officer over what he termed as ‘lies.’

Reacting to the reports, some leaders called on the Kenya Kwanza administration to respect the law and honour all the ex-President’s retirement dues.

Others asked the retired President’s office to be understanding and employ diplomacy in its communication with the government by following internal channels.

National Assembly Foreign Relations and Defence Committee chairperson Nelson Koech asked the former President to exercise patience saying his benefits will be paid in due course.

“This government is not petty, Former President Uhuru Kenyatta will get his remuneration and benefits. However, there must be a channel of communication within the government,’’ Koech said the Kenya Kwanza allied MP.

Seme MP James Nyikal of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), said that Uhuru is entitled to his retirement benefits without any preconditions and treated with respect.

The MP claimed that there could be some level of ‘’incompetence along with political interference, which is common in this government.’’

"If the President has retired and the law passed in the last parliament entitles him to certain benefits, he should get them,’’ he said.

“Once he is a former President, he is entitled to those benefits,’’

Nyikal said that if Uhuru is using the cars he had as President, administratively, those cars should have reverted to the State House immediately after he handed them over.

“And it's just a matter of time to assign him the cars he is entitled to. He should get his dues,’’ he said.

Murang’a Senator Joe Nyutu said that the former president does not pose a threat to the sitting President to justify the refusal of his benefits, saying the two should dialogue.

The senator called for investigations to determine the real cause of why the former president has not been paid his retirement benefits.

“Why wouldn't they talk? I don't think the sitting President is that vengeful. It's simply a matter of differing views,’’ he said.

“I want to be clear: I firmly believe that the former President should receive his rightful dues and that his office should be supported by the state as mandated by law.’’

Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma said: “The Retirement Benefits laws prescribe benefits for all our former Presidents, Vice/Deputy Presidents, PMs, CJ, DCJ and Speakers, the National Assembly appropriates funds each year for this; where’s the money?’’

Advocate Willis Otieno said that under the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act, Uhuru is entitled to benefits.

“I must point out that this bad behaviour of not honouring laws was started by Uhuru Kenyatta himself,’’ he said.

Uhuru was previously accused of denying opposition chief Raila Odinga and Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka when he was in power.

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