Kindiki says no to governors, MCAs Sh3.4 billion pension plan



Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki has opposed a proposal to pay Sh3.54 billion pension and gratuity to governors, deputy governors, county assembly Speakers and Members of County Assemblies.

This is after the County Assemblies Forum (CAF) last week introduced the County State Officers Pension Bill 2020, which among other things seeks to cushion the leaders exiting office.

Governors, deputy governors, county assembly speakers and MCAs will pocket Sh3.54 billion one-off payment in gratuity should the proposed law sail through in the assemblies and Parliament.

In a telephone interview with The Standard, Prof Kindiki has however termed the proposal outrageously illegal, null and void. He said assemblies have no power to pass such legislation as this was a preserve of the National Assembly and Senate.

“A state officer or a public officer on fixed-term contract cannot enjoy pension and gratuity he or she has to choose either,” stated the senator.

“The proposals will be shot down by Parliament and if not, the courts will void the proposals and consign them to the dustbin,” he added.

The Bill proposes lump sum payout and pension for the county officials as well as other perks such as luxurious cars to be enjoyed by the officials upon their exit from office next year.

Should the Bill become law, MCAs will receive about Sh2.46 billion, governors Sh521.7 million, deputy governors Sh350.1 million while Speakers will pocket Sh145.7 million.

The Bill proposes that each outgoing governor will receive an equivalent of one-year salary as lump sum payment.

A governor currently earns Sh924,000 per month as basic salary.

This means that once they leave office, they will each receive Sh11.1 million as a lump sum payment.

Moreover, each governor will be entitled to pension that constitutes 80 per cent of their current salary.

This means each governor will receive Sh739,200 as a monthly pension for life. However, should the retired governor pass on, 50 per cent of the benefits can be transferred to their spouse or kin.

For deputy governors, the Bill proposes one-year lump sum pay of their current salary.

Currently, a deputy governor takes home Sh621,250 as basic salary. This means that they will take home Sh7.45 million lump sum pay.

They will also enjoy a monthly pension which will be 60 per cent of their current monthly salary. This means that a former deputy governor will enjoy Sh372,750 monthly pension for life. If they die, a proportion of the perks can be transferred to their spouse.

County speakers who are the sponsors of the Bill have also made proposals in their favour.

A Speaker currently pockets Sh259,870 as basic salary meaning that with the proposed one-year payout, they will rake in Sh3.1 million upon exiting office. They will also be entitled to a monthly pension equivalent to 60 per cent of their current salary which is equivalent to Sh155,925.

While MCAs who earn a monthly basic pay of Sh144,375 will be entitled to a one-year lump sum pay of Sh1.7 million each. They will also be entitled to a monthly pension.

“An MCA is entitled to a pension if his aggregate period of reckonable service is two terms of county assembly and he has attained the age of 45 years,” reads the Bill in part.

The Bill has also proposed other perks for governors, deputy governors and Speakers such as 3,000cc car, drivers, personal assistants and a housekeeper whose bills will be footed by taxpayers.

Notably, if the officials are elected or appointed to State positions, then the monthly pension is reduced by the amount of salary in their new postings.

CAF chair Ndegwa Wahome said that the Bill was aimed at ensuring state officers at the county level earn pension.

“Currently, there is no legal framework that provides for pension for state officers at the county level. This is so despite the fact that social security is guaranteed as a basic right of every person under Article 43 of the Constitution,” said Wahome.

He said the Bill was crafted after deliberations between the leadership of the assemblies’ forum and the Council of Governors.

“The Bill was developed to mirror the legislation that is currently being implemented by the national government. County assemblies are required to consider and subsequently pass the Bill on or before October 25,” he said.  

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