Outgoing governors to earn Sh1.3bn in send-off packages

Economy

Outgoing governors to earn Sh1.3bn in send-off packages


CURRENCY

Outgoing governors will earn more than Sh1.3 billion in sendoff packages after 37 county chiefs were replaced in the just-concluded elections. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Outgoing governors will earn more than Sh1.3 billion in sendoff packages after 37 county chiefs were replaced in the just-concluded elections.

Voters sent home 16 governors in the August 9 General Elections while 21 did not defend their seats after serving their second and final term in office.

Each exiting governor is entitled to a gratuity equivalent to 31 percent of their annual basic pay for every year served. Governors earned a basic monthly salary of Sh924,000 while their deputies pocketed Sh621,250 a month in the last year of service, according to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) circular.

This means taxpayers will pay each of the county chiefs Sh17.2 million in gratuity equivalent to 31 percent of their annual basic pay for the five-year term served while their deputies will walk home with Sh11.55 million.

The 16 one-term governors will cumulatively get Sh275.2 million while the 21 retiring county bosses will pocket Sh721.83 million. This brings the total cost to Sh997.03 million.

Deputy governors who served under the 16 county chiefs will take home a cumulative amount of Sh77.28 million while those who served under 21 governors will receive a total of Sh201.6 million.

Voters sent parking Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi, John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), Nderitu Muriithi (Laikipia), Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) and James Nyoro (Kiambu) among others.

They will be leaving office before the conclusion of a court case where they are seeking Sh2.3 billion annually in retirement perks.

The SRC, which advises the government on wages of public sector officials, has opposed the payments arguing it is not sustainable and is an extra burden to taxpayers.

Governors and their deputies are seeking a lifetime monthly pension of Sh739,200 and Sh700,000 respectively in line with the payouts offered to retired presidents, deputy presidents, chief justices and parliamentary speakers.

Besides the monthly payments, they are seeking a lump sum payment equivalent to their one-year pay, a 3,000cc four-wheel-drive car, fuel allowance, a driver, a personal assistant and medical covers for local and overseas treatment. The case filed by the Council of Governors is pending in court.

Taxpayers also face multi-million shillings in gratuity payments to county executive committee members, chief officers, county secretaries, and county assembly speakers who are set to exit with their first or second-term governors.

County governments’ wage bill stood at Sh176.03 billion as at June 2021, according to data by the Controller of Budget.

A number of the third-generation governors were sworn-in yesterday and are expected to come in with new CECs, chief officers, secretaries and chiefs of staff who are loyal to them.

First term governors who assumed office include Nairobi’s Johnson Sakaja, Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni), Patrick Ole Ntitu (Narok), Lati Lelelit (Samburu), George Natembeya (Trans Nzoia), Fatuma Achani (Kwale), Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Abdi Hassan (Isiolo) and Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu).

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