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Kenya Ex-president’s Retirement Benefits Spark Controversy

KENYA’S President William Ruto has established a team to address concerns over the retirement benefits and privileges of his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta. This move follows a public dispute between the two former political allies.

The formation of the team comes after Kenyatta publicly alleged mistreatment by his former deputy, despite constitutional guarantees on the benefits due to retired presidents and deputy presidents. Ruto and Kenyatta held a phone conversation on Tuesday regarding the concerns, as confirmed by the president’s spokesperson in a post on the X platform.


‘President Ruto has consequently constituted a team, led by the head of public service, to immediately address all the issues raised, including the location of the retired President’s office and the attendant staff establishment,’ the statement read.

Kenyatta, Kenya’s only surviving former president following the deaths of Daniel arap Moi in February 2020 and Mwai Kibaki in April 2022, is entitled to benefits such as state cars, an office, and support staff. Ruto served as Kenyatta’s deputy for 10 years from 2012 to September 2022. However, the pair fell out in the run-up to the 2022 election when Kenyatta backed opposition leader Raila Odinga. Ruto won the election in the first round, albeit with a slim margin.

Kenyatta accused Ruto of refusing to fund his office and freezing his budgetary allocation of one KSh1bn ($7.7 million) for the last two financial years, as stated by his spokesperson Kanze Dena in a press conference on Monday.

Kenyatta also criticised the government for allegedly refusing to provide him with new vehicles as stipulated in the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act. The spokesperson noted that Kenyatta currently has nine vehicles for his use, including a Mercedes-Benz and a Range Rover, which were allocated by the state when he left office in September 2022. However, these vehicles have not been replaced as required by law, and Kenyatta’s fuel card was discontinued in March 2023, forcing him to pay for fuel himself.

In response, Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura stated that Kenyatta had received a total of 14 vehicles from the state, which were being regularly fuelled. Mwaura added that there was evidence of Kenyatta refuelling as recently as May 15.

Regarding the budgetary allocations, Mwaura assured that Kenya can account for the budgetary provisions for the ex-president’s office.

This development underscores the ongoing political tensions and the need for clarity and resolution regarding the entitlements of former presidents in Kenya.

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