Former President Uhuru Kenyatta is at a crossroads whether to take his lump sum pension package of Ksh39 million or keep his role in Azimio.
Speaking exclusively TBEN.co.keJubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni believed the former head of state could survive without the hefty package, which includes a monthly pension of Ksh1.32 million.
Kioni defended his position, arguing that Uhuru still played an important role in Azimio and Jubilee Party. The former Ndaragua MP insisted that Uhuru’s experience was critical in helping the Azimio control President William Ruto’s administration.
In addition, Kioni argued that Uhuru’s voice was still relevant in making decisions on matters affecting the country.
Jubilee Party General Secretary Jeremiah Kioni during an interview with TBEN.co.ke on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
“Issues of those personal benefits are things that should benefit him. The regional leaders need him… if they see value in him now, why would we TBEN want him to retire hastily?” , Kioni stated.
“We have something to take advantage of him. He is young, strong and he is not sick. He will be needed in this country in the future. These people in office have not been able to take off, not that we want him as head . of the state,” Kioni said TBEN.co.ke.
However, Kioni insisted that Uhuru was still entitled to relinquish his role as chairman of the Azimio council in order to receive his retirement package.
“He’s the chairman of Azimio Council, and he’s the party leader of Jubilee, and we’re happy to have him. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to ask him to get rid of all those things. He can survive and has survived before without all those personal benefits,” he said TBEN.co.ke.
“Raila has not taken any personal benefits; Kalonzo has not taken any personal benefits. They are still useful to this country, so he is already an example and happy good company. It is a patriotic thing for him not to take,” added Kioni up to it.
Political pundits had warned that Uhuru was at risk of missing out on his retirement benefits because of his active role in Azimio and Jubilee. Under section 6(1) of the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act of 2003, the former president is expected to abstain from active politics in order to access the benefits.
“A retired president or his surviving spouse, as the case may be, shall not be entitled to all or part of the benefits conferred by this Act, by reason of the retired president holding office in or being actively involved in the activities of a political party in violation of the provisions of Article 6(1),” the law states.
His attachment to Azimio and Jubilee would also see him lose entertainment, housing allowances, office space, vehicles, and full government medical coverage.
Other benefits that Uhuru is in danger of losing include diplomatic passports and international travel allowances of up to four trips per year and access to VIP lounges at all airports in Kenya.
However, the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act of 2003 mandates that the retired president be expected to play an advisory role to the government.
He may also be asked by the government to perform certain official functions and will receive reasonable compensation for such activities.