Former President Uhuru Kenyatta is at crossroads as to whether to take his lumpsum retirement package of Ksh39 million or keep his role in Azimio.
Speaking exclusively to Kenyans.co.ke, Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni opined that the former head of state could survive without the hefty package, including a Ksh1.32 million monthly pension.
Defending his stance, Kioni argued that Uhuru was still instrumental in Azimio and Jubilee Party. The former Ndaragua Member of Parliament insisted that Uhuru's experience was critical in helping the Azimio keep President William Ruto's administration in check.
Additionally, Kioni argued that Uhuru's voice was still relevant in making decisions on matters affecting the country.Jubilee party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni during an interview with Kenyans.co.ke on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.Kenyans.co.ke
"Issues of those personal benefits are things that are supposed to benefit him. The regional leadership requires him... if they are seeing value in him now, why would we as Kenyans want him to hurry him into retirement? Kioni posed
"We have something to benefit from him. He is young, strong, and he is not ailing. He will be required in this country going forward. These people in office have been unable to take off, not that we want him as the head of state," Kioni told Kenyans.co.ke.
However, Kioni insisted that it was still within Uhuru's rights to relinquish his role as Chairperson of Azimio Council to receive his retirement package.
"He is the chairman of Azimio Council, and he is the party leader of Jubilee, and we are happy to have him. I wouldn't be in a hurry to ask him to relinquish all those things. He can survive and has survived before without all those personal benefits," he told Kenyans.co.ke.
"Raila has not taken personal benefits; Kalonzo has not taken personal benefits. They are still useful to this country, so he already examples and, fortunately, good company. It is a patriotic thing for him not to take," Kioni added.
Political pundits had warned that Uhuru risked missing out on his retirement benefits due to his active role in Azimio and Jubilee. According to Section 6 (1) of the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act of 2003, the former president is expected to keep off active politics to access the benefits.
"A retired President or his surviving spouse, as the case may be, shall not be entitled to the whole or any part of the benefits conferred by this Act, on the grounds that the retired President held office in, or actively engaged in the activities of any political party contrary to the provisions of section 6(1)," the Act stipulates.
His attachment to Azimio and Jubilee would see him also lose entertainment, house allowances, office space, vehicles and full medical cover provided by the government.
Other benefits Uhuru stands to lose include diplomatic passports and international travel allowance of up to four trips a year and accessing VIP lounges at all airports within Kenya.
However, the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act of 2003 prescribes that the retired president shall be expected to play an advisory role to the government.
"He may also be requested by the government to perform specific official functions and shall be paid a reasonable allowance in respect of such activities," the Act states.
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