MPs Lose Hefty Retirement Package

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    President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the media at State House in September 2020
  • On Thursday, September 24, the National Assembly failed to raise the requisite numbers to veto President Uhuru Kenyatta's reservations to the Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that would have gifted retired MPs a hefty lifetime pension. 

    Legislators were compelled to pass the bill without further changes.

    At least a two-thirds majority or 233 of the 349 MPs in the National Assembly are required to veto a Presidential memorandum but the MPs could not meet the numbers.

    An image of John Mbadi in 2019
    National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi holding up an ODM party membership card in 2019

    "The way we have treated this former members of parliament and they have been coming to my office even today is discriminatory because Akiwumi report recommended for enhancement of salaries of the sitting members of parliament then and that was implemented.

    "They recommended that those MPs who served up to 1984 be given Ksh1 million each, they were given and they also recommended that those who served between 1984 and 2001, get enhanced pension so they did not benefit from the Ksh1 million that the others benefitted from. Now you are saying that they should get zero," Mbadi argued.

    While rejecting the bill on Thursday, September 10, the president noted that MPs' pensions under the Act were calculated according to the contributions paid into the scheme during their parliamentary term.

    He added that the Bill overlooked the mandate of the Salaries and Renumeration Commission (SRC) under the Constitution, which comprises of the setting and review of renumeration and benefits for all state officers, who include Members of Parliament.

    However, the Finance and National Planning Committee had argued that when inflation was considered, it would be difficult for MPs to survive on the aforementioned pension figures.

    "The committee, having considered the President's reservations on the Bill, recommends that the House agrees with its decision to reject the President's memorandum," the committee had stated.

    The Bill, which was tabled by Suba South MP John Mbadi, sought to see more than 375 lawmakers who retired between 1984 and 2001 receive a monthly pension of Ksh100,000 for life.

    Mbadi argued that the bill would alleviate challenges former legislators were currently facing.

    However, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale urged the House to exercise caution, going on to share his fear that the enactment of the amendment could potentially open the doors for other sectors of the civil service to demand for a review of their pension schemes as well.

    ODM MPs: From left: Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), John Mbadi (Suba East) and Junet Mohamed (Suna East)
    ODM MPs: From left: Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), John Mbadi (Suba East) and Junet Mohamed (Suna East)