Taxpayers to fork out billions in government transition plans

Kenyan taxpayers will pay over Sh5 billion to usher in newly elected leaders to office, exerting more pressure on the country’s overstretched recurrent budget.

Yesterday, the Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri released a detailed inauguration calendar for 47 governors which runs from today to August 21. Other county leaders to be inaugurated includes 67 senators, 47 women representatives, 2,272 members of county assembly and county executives across the country.

On Monday, Nairobi Governor-elect Mike Sonko dismissed the Sh25 million set aside for his inauguration ceremony slated for August 21 as wasteful, giving a hint on how much the country is going to incur in swearing in ceremonies alone.

The Nairobi county’s Assumption of Office Committee had set a side Sh2.4 million for fuel of VIP cars, Sh6.3 million for security during the event, Sh2.7 million for civil works while swearing in ceremony had been allocated a whopping Sh11 million.

Other expenses were Sh384,000 for public health and cleaning while Sh2 million for briefing and documentation.

In 2013, county governments spent between Sh5 and Sh30 million in inaugurating elected and appointed officials, according to a total tally of the figures.

Early this month, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the government has prepared a mini-budget that includes provision for the swearing-in of the President.

According to the law, all exiting county officials including governors, deputy governors, county executives and members of county assembly are entitled to gratuity that is 31 per cent of their annual basic pay for the period they were in office.

In the just concluded elections, 25 governors lost their seats, meaning each of them is entitled to Sh12.2 million gratuity for the four years they were in office calculated against the revised basic salary of Sh854,241 by the Salaries and Renumeration Commission (SRC) This will cost taxpayers at least Sh300 million

The same applies to 25 of their deputies who are entitled to a gratuity of 31 per cent on their revised basic salary of Sh615,000.

This means, each outgoing deputy governor will pocket Sh190,650 per month, amounting to Sh2.2 million per year for the five years they were in office.

Entry of new governors means at least 250 county executive members are likely to be shown the door.

This will see each executive walk away with Sh4.3 million in gratuity calculated against their basic salary of Sh300,000.

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