Parliament has revised the budget to include a Sh120 million golden handshake to the three former Speakers despite the retired officials receiving lavish benefits from the pension department.
The Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) has increased allocation to the retired Speakers and offered them the same status as former Presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki.
The allocations have been made despite the three former Speakers – Ekwee Ethuro, Kenneth Marende and Francis ole Kaparo – receiving monthly pension, medical insurance and staff such as personal assistants, secretaries, messengers, housekeepers and drivers at taxpayers’ expense.
“The Parliamentary Service Commission just like the case with the Office of the President should budget for the three retired Speakers,” said BAC in Defence of the Sh120 million allocation.
Presently, the Speakers receive State-sponsored retirement benefits under the Deputy President and Designated State Officers Act, which also caters for the pension of chief justices and their deputies as well vice presidents.
“It is puzzling they are allocating money for the retired Speakers yet we have been paying them benefits from the pensions department,” said a Treasury source who sought anonymity.
The three former Speakers are entitled to a monthly pension of Sh554,400, a lump sum send-off of Sh13.8 million and monthly fuel allowance of Sh173,250.
The Deputy President and Designated State Officers Act provides hefty monthly pension payouts equivalent to 80 percent of the last salary of retired Speakers.
This is in addition to a golden handshake equivalent to one-year salary and fuel allowance equivalent to 15 percent of their last pay.
The law demands the retired Speakers get a saloon car of 1,800cc and a four-wheel, 3000cc engine capacity vehicle, both replaceable every four years. The lavish benefits reflect the growing burden of keeping top public servants comfortable in retirement.
The Treasury has set aside Sh1.5 billion to cater for the retirement benefits of former officials captured in Deputy President and Designated State Officers Act.
The allocation will increase to Sh2 billion in the year starting July 2020, which is higher than the Sh1 billion allocated for building affordable homes, Sh1.5 billion for constituency transformers, Sh400 million for regional cancer centres and Sh300 million for loans for the youth through the Uwezo Fund.
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