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Kisii County MCAs approve hefty send off for governor

The governor and his deputy in Kisii County will receive hefty perks on retirement if a Bill passed by the Assembly is signed into law.

The approved Bill proposes that the governor and his deputy be given two four-wheel drive vehicles every four years upon leaving office, with a retinue of staff in tow.

Their wives, and that of the Speaker, will be entitled to a pension amounting to 50 per cent of their pay in case their spouses die while in office. If their wives remarry, they will forgo the benefits according to the law awaiting Governor James Ongwae’s assent.

Critics have called the packages immoral and unacceptable, but the Bill’s mover, Chitago/Borabu Ward Rep Albert Oino says they will help the retirees live decent lives.

The recommendations are contained in the Kisii County Retirements Benefits (Governors Designated) Bill, 2016, that is due for assent. The Bill has been subjected to heated discussions in the assembly since December when it was brought to the House for debate.

The governor and his deputy will receive a combined Sh18 million at the end of their first term in office. The governor will bag a staggering Sh10 million while his deputy will pocket the remainder as gratuity.

BILL DREW SHARP REACTIONS

Though less than what the county spends on tea and snacks, the money constitutes a critical fraction that can help supply drugs to several dispensaries in the devolved unit. In the proposal, the beneficiaries are entitled to a lump sum payment on their retirement.

It will be calculated as the sum equal to one year’s salary for each term served, or as specified, whichever is higher. Others expected to benefit from the packages are MCAs and former councillors.

The Bill, however, quickly drew sharp reactions from governorship aspirants Charles Bagwasi and Boniface Omboto, who termed it “immoral and unacceptable”.

Mr Bwagasi added that if the law is signed, it would greatly stretch the wage bill.

Former District Commissioner Ezekiel Machogu said the ward reps were setting a dangerous precedent. However, ex-councillors, led by former Kisii deputy mayor Patrick Siro, termed the package a godsend.

He said other elected political leaders had been receiving pensions on retirement while councillors were neglected. Mr Siro said many of them became poor because they were not corrupt.

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