Isaac Mwaura responds to Uhuru’s statement on retirement benefits

Monday, June 10th, 2024 21:44 | By
Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura during a past press conference. PHOTO/Isaac Mwaura(@MwauraIsaac1)/X
Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura during a past press conference. PHOTO/@MwauraIsaac1/X

Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura has insisted that the state pays retired President Uhuru Kenyatta all his entitled perks amid mounting controversy surrounding the benefits and allocations for the former President.

The response comes after former State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo refuted claims that Uhuru was receiving his retirement perks as per the law.

According to Mwaura, the former President's office has received 14 vehicles which are maintained by the State House. Additionally, he mentioned that State House coordinates and facilitates both his domestic and international travel.

"The Office of the Third Retired President today made various allegations on the operations of the office. We offer to respond as follows: The Office of the Third Retired President admits they have been provided with vehicles. We only differ on the number. The fact is that they have been provided with 14 vehicles. These vehicles are fuelled and maintained at the State House," Mwaura stated.


"They also alleged falsely that their fuel cards have been blocked. We, however, put it on record that the vehicles are fuelled through the State House Master Card. Our records show that several vehicles were fuelled as recently as May 15, 2024. The vehicles are also routinely maintained and serviced at State House. These services have been offered as recently as on April 5, May 7, May 8 and May 15, 2024."

Mwaura countered claims that the vehicles assigned to Uhuru Kenyatta's office are outdated, emphasizing that they were purchased between 2020 and 2022.

According to him, the fleet, comprising 2 Range Rover Autobiography, 2 Range Rover Sport, Mercedes S600L, Armoured Land Cruiser V8, and 4 Prados, is entirely fitting for the former President.

"The office also claimed that the vehicles were old and not deserving of the retired President. But the records are clear: The vehicles were bought in the years ranging between 2020, 2021 and 2022. They are, therefore, very befitting of the person of the third retired President. They include 2 Range Rover Autobiography, 2 Range Rover Sport, Mercedes S600L, Armoured Land Cruiser V8 and 4 Prados."

In his statement, Mwaura maintained that the government had purchased an office space for the retired President back in 2012/2013, situated in Nyari, Nairobi, and that the office had served former President Mwai Kibaki for nine years, from 2013 to 2022, making it a fitting choice for any retired President.

According to Mwaura, the Uhuru's refusal of this office in favour of leasing their private residence raises concerns about potential breaches of procurement laws, regulations, and procedures.

Mwaura said that by opting for their personal property, former President Uhuru Kenyatta seems to be blurring the lines between being a landlord and a tenant which according to him the Kenya Kwanza government cannot entertain.

"In 2012/2013, the government purchased an office for the retired President. This office is located in Nyari, Nairobi. This is the office the late President Mwai Kibaki used for 9 nine years, between 2013 and 2022. It is, therefore, a suitable office for any retired President. By rejecting this office and preferring that the government leases his own private home, the Third Retired President is inviting the government to violate procurement laws, regulations and procedures. The Third Retired President wants to be both a landlord and a tenant at the same time. It is an adventure that the government cannot engage in as this is a serious conflict of interest," the spokesperson stated.


"The Office of the Former President confirms that their staff are on government payroll. The Presidential Retirement Benefits Act specifies that a former President should have 34 staff. Already, 33 are in office. The Act also specifies that staff who work in the Office of the Retired President must be public servants. On Mr George Kariuki and Ms Kanze Dena, their names have not been forwarded to the State House Comptroller by the retired President for processing."

Post-presidency plight?

During a briefing on Monday, June 10, 2024, Kanze Dena Mararo disputed claims suggesting that retired President was provided with a fully furnished and maintained office space by the government.

Dena clarified that the former president had personally identified and furnished his own office space.

Contrary to statements made by spokesperson Isaac Mwaura, Dena stated that Uhuru Kenyatta was not benefiting from a government-provided office space. Instead, he had taken the initiative to locate and furnish an office at his own expense.

“A formal letter was written to the state house requesting the evaluation of his office that was identified by former president Kenyatta as suitable for him to carry out his duties,” she revealed.

Former Statehouse spokesperson Kanze Dena. PHOTO/@KanzeDena/X
Former Statehouse spokesperson Kanze Dena. PHOTO/@KanzeDena/X

“However, the office did not receive a response on the issue and instead, the communication the office received was via text message by then-in-charge George Makumi, and in his statement, he indicated the estimate of the property in question that was selected by the former president to date this office runs under the goodwill of the former president as it waits upon action from the State House.”

Dena emphasized that the office of the retired president was operating solely on the goodwill of Uhuru Kenyatta, as they awaited a formal response from the government regarding the issue.

She revealed that despite sending a formal request to the State House for an evaluation of the chosen office space, they had not received a satisfactory response. Communication regarding the matter had been minimal, with only a text message from George Makumi providing an estimate of the property's value.

Regarding the office in Nyari, Dena explained that it had been selected by former President Mwai Kibaki for his own use. She clarified that State House had been explicit in its position, stating that Nyari was the only office sanctioned for presidential use, given that it had been purchased by the government.

Retirement allocations

During her address, she also revealed that only Ksh28 million out of the allocated Ksh655 million for the 2022/2023 Financial Year was released by the State House.

This amount was primarily used for domestic travel allowances and two trips undertaken by Uhuru. Additionally, for the 2023/2024 Financial Year, although the National Assembly allocated Ksh503 million to Uhuru's office, no funds have been received thus far.

Dena emphasized the critical issue lies in accessing the allocated budget. This clarification comes in response to government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura's breakdown of Uhuru's retirement perks, stating a monthly pension of Ksh1.6 million and various allowances totalling Ksh1 million, including entertainment, house, fuel, and utility allowances, alongside a lump sum payment.

For these and more credible stories, join our revamped Telegram and WhatsApp channels.



More on News