Kenyan lawmakers, both Members of Parliament and Senators, will be smiling all the way to the bank when their five-year term lapses on August 9, after they got their generous send-off packages approved.
According to a report from the Parliamentary Pensions Scheme, each lawmaker is expected to pocket a minimum of Ksh5.8 million send-off package - effectively bypassing the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) concerns over the plans.
Those who will have served for only one term will receive the Ksh5.8 million each while the lawmakers who have served for more than two term, 12 in number, will be entitled to Ksh7.8 million each as send-off package.
“Members who have served for one term will be entitled to Ksh5.8 million from the scheme while those who have done more than one (term) will get their pension,” read the report in part.
The proposal was first tabled in Parliament on August 5, 2020, in which the lawmakers were seeking Ksh11.6 million send-off package each.
“Subject to provisions of this Act, a person shall be entitled to gratuity under this section where the person ceases to be a Member of Parliament and has served an aggregate period of five years or less,” read the proposal at the time.
Soon after, the SRC, however, put up a fight against the proposal arguing that it would burden the taxpayers who are already faced with a high cost of living arguing that it would trigger other public officers to make their own demands.
"If the Bill is enacted into law, as proposed, it shall not only pile an additional burden on taxpayers but shall set a precedence and ripple effect for other categories of public officers to demand equal treatment and fairness.
"This shall, therefore, make the public pension liability unaffordable and fiscally unsustainable," read the response by SRC.
The Commission had argued that Pension was already in place to offer retired lawmakers a monthly stipend which is pegged at Ksh180,000 and serviced those who had served for more than two terms.
The lawmakers are set to adjourn sine die on Thursday afternoon to allow for those contesting to carry out campaigns in the remaining 60 days.
When compounded, the send-off package will hit Ksh2.2 billion which burdens taxpayers already grappling with a high inflation rate that rose from 5.6 per cent in March to 6.5 per cent as per the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).