Ruto Holds Talks With Uhuru, Forms Team to Address Retirement Benefits Saga

President Uhuru Kenyatta greets his deputy, William Ruto, at Uhuru Gardens during Madaraka Day celebrations on Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta greets President William Ruto, at Uhuru Gardens during Madaraka Day celebrations on Wednesday, June 1, 2022

President William Ruto on Tuesday, June 11, held talks with former President Uhuru Kenyatta over the fiasco regarding the latter's retirement package.

According to the State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed, the morning meeting was centred around finding a solution to the ongoing back and forth between the two offices.

Consequently, Ruto formed a team that will look at the issues raised by Uhuru. The team will be chaired by the Head of Public Service Felix Koskei. 

Among the issues that will be addressed by the team include the contentious location of Uhuru's retirement office.

Head of Public Service Felix Koskei speaking during a meeting with Principal Secretaries and Accounting Officers on January 10, 2024.
Felix Koskei

"This morning, President William Ruto had a conversation with his predecessor in office, the 4th President, President Uhuru Kenyatta, regarding concerns about facilitating the functioning of the retired President’s office.

"President Ruto has consequently constituted a team, led by the Head of Public Service, to immediately address all the issues raised, including the location of the retired President’s office and the attendant staff establishment," read the statement in part.

The meeting between Ruto and his predecessor comes a day after the Office of the 4th President refuted the government's claims over the benefits extended to Uhuru in retirement.

According to Uhuru's office,  the government had not furnished his retirement office contrary to the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act.

Additionally, it was revealed that the office had not been funded for months even with some employees like the spokesperson, Kanze Dena, going without salaries for two years.

"Before retirement and during his retirement, the former president has been sought to undertake various international roles, especially within the region in his capacity as a former Head of State, and among them was his appointment as a peace facilitator by EAC heads of State during the 22nd ordinary meeting of EAC Summit on July 22, 2022, in Arusha.

"With no response from the State House and a lack of commitment to finalise the issue of the office space, the former President identified a suitable office space and went ahead to fully furnish and equip it from his pocket," Uhuru's office stated.

On the other hand, the government explained why it was yet to furnish Uhuru's office, citing conflict of interest.

Uhuru had opted to use his private residence near State House as his official office. However, the government alleged that Uhuru's move was contrary to the law.

"In 2012/2013, the government purchased an office of the retired President. This office is located in Nyari, Nairobi. This is the office the late President Mwai Kibaki used for 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," Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura responded.

Nyari office space that was used by former President Mwai Kibaki.
Nyari office space that was used by former President Mwai Kibaki.
Daily Nation