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Former CJ Mutunga to be lavished with millions, cars and servants

Former Chief Justice (CJ) Willy Mutunga is being offered lavish benefits, highlighting the heavy burden of maintaining top State officers in retirement.

Dr Mutunga will join a small club that includes former presidents — Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki — who take home more than Sh1 million monthly.

According to a Bill tabled in Parliament, Dr Mutunga’s golden handshake will include a hefty monthly pension equivalent to 80 per cent of his last salary, a lumpsum of five times his last pay or about Sh6 million, security, medical insurance and diplomatic passport for himself and spouse.

FUEL ALLOWANCE

He will receive a saloon car and a four-wheel drive vehicle, both of which will come with drivers and fuel allowance equivalent to 15 per cent of the monthly pay of the serving CJ. The vehicles will be replaced after every four years.

Taxpayers will also cater for maintenance of the vehicles at dealerships besides offering Dr Mutunga one personal assistant, one secretary, one housekeeper, one senior support staff, one gardener and one cleaner at the State’s expense.

The fuel allowance and pension will guarantee Dr Mutunga a lifetime monthly pay of about Sh1.25 million — almost at par with the basic salary of the Deputy President.

“A retired Chief Justice shall, during his or her lifetime, be entitled to a monthly pension equal to 80 per cent of the monthly salary of the entitled person’s last monthly salary while in office,” the Bill, published by Majority Leader Aden Duale, states.

OTHER PERKS

According to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), the basic salary of the Chief Justice is Sh1, 380,351 and excludes other perks.

Dr Mutunga retired on June 16, 2016 after serving for five years. He was replaced by Justice David Maraga.

Critics reckon that the lavish benefits offered to former top State officers are excessive given that when leaving office they are not poor people.

Eight months ago, Dr Mutunga publicly declared he was worth Sh80 million. He added that he earned a net salary of Sh50 million in the five years served as chief justice.

CRITICISM

Retirement benefits of former presidents have come under sharp criticism, especially in the last couple of years when allocations were increased by large margins even as the State insisted it had put in place austerity measures.

Mr Kibaki and Moi’s pensions will increase by 15.6 per cent next year to Sh74 million. If paid equally, the package assures each of the retired presidents a monthly payout of Sh3 million — a figure that is higher than President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official salary of Sh1.5 million.

The High Court last year stopped payment of allowances worth millions of shillings to the two former leaders, saying they were an unnecessary burden to the taxpayer.

The Attorney-General appealed the decision, allowing the two to continue enjoying the hefty allowances.

Parts of the law that the court nullified entitled Mr Kibaki and Mr Moi to a Sh379,500 monthly house allowance, fuel allowance of Sh247,500, entertainment perks of Sh247,500 and utilities of Sh379,500.

Mr Kibaki signed the allowances into law two weeks before his retirement, effectively awarding himself millions of shillings on his way out.