Cabinet Secretaries who served in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government will walk away with up to Sh20.8 million each in gratuity payment amid questions over the integrity implications of their relatively low exit packages compared to that of the other super-earners in public service.
Principal Secretaries (PSs) – who are the administrative heads at each State department – will also earn near similar amounts for those who have served since 2013 when Mr Kenyatta rode to power.
The payouts came after President William Ruto, who was sworn in as head of state on September 13, formed his 22-member Cabinet in a sweeping overhaul of the Executive in which only one of Mr Kenyatta’s ministers was retained.
This golden parachute to ministers and PSs is premised on the fact that they are not entitled to pension, but gratuity equivalent to 31 percent of annual basic pay for every year served.
Unlike other State officers such as a Deputy President, Speakers of Parliament and a Chief Justice, Cabinet Secretaries and PSs are not entitled to lifetime pension, top-of-the-range vehicles and juicy perks upon exiting the public service.
Analysts reckon that lack of adequate retirement benefits pension could compromise the integrity of the Cabinet Secretaries who control billions of shillings.
“A State officer serving on fixed term shall serve on contract and be paid a service gratuity at the end of the term at the rate of 31 percent of annual basic pay for every year served,” the SRC said in a gazette notice, which set the pay details for the current administration.
The outgoing ministers who have served from when Mr Kenyatta’s first Cabinet that was sworn in mid-May 2013, including Raychelle Omamo, James Macharia, Amina Mohamed, Fred Matiang’i, Najib Balala and Adan Mohamed, are set to pocket Sh20.8 million each in gratuity.
This means a Cabinet Secretary who served from 2013 and earned a graduated salary of between Sh792,000 to Sh1,056,00 took home Sh10.3 million in gratuity payment at the end of 2017.
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