Parliament can give Raila,Kalonzo benefits but they have to retire from politics
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and ex-Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka are not entitled to any retirement benefits unless Parliament approves a bill to that effect.
Leader of Majority Aden Duale yesterday told the House that no retirement package can be considered as former President Mwai Kibaki refused to assent to the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Bill 2012 in January.
Duale, however, said the National Assembly is at liberty to consider the bill and legislate on what Raila and Kalonzo should be entitled to.
“If we feel that the former PM and VP are entitled to benefits, it is still in the domain of this House,” Duale stated. He said MPs, while debating the bill, will also have powers to decide on whether the two need to retire from politics if they are to benefit from the retirement package. The bill rejected by Kibaki provided that “an entitled person shall not hold office in any political party at any time.” Kalonzo is still the leader of Wiper Democratic Party while Raila is the leader of ODM.
Kibaki rejected the Bill because of the huge retirement packages that MPs had awarded themselves just before the end of the last Parliament.
Deputy leader of Majority Jakoyo Midiwo had requested a clarification on the number of civil servants the government is considering deploying to serve Raila and Kalonzo in their retirement. He said world over, all retired Prime Ministers have civil servants attached to them.
He also requested to know the qualifications and Job groups of the civil servants to be deployed to serve Raila and Kalonzo.
“Raila Odinga was a co president whether you want to accept it or not, read the National Accord because I know many people in this House are illiterate,” said Midiwo.
Lugari MP Ayub Savula demanded to know if Raila transferred his instruments of power to anyone to warrant the House to approve his retirement package. He said Kibaki is known to have transferred instruments of power.
Duale at the same time denied that the government has been mistreating civil servants who used to work under Raila at the PM’s office.
He said 23 officers exited the service as their contracts expired. Duale said the 23 were to only serve in government during the tenure of Raila as the PM.
He explained four others are still serving as their contracts have been extended to the end of this month while 40 others were temporary workers are still serving at Deputy president William Ruto’s office. Duale further explained that 294 of other civil servants who worked at the PM’s office are permanent and pensionable employees and only five have been transferred since the office ceased to exist. He said the rest are now serving at Ruto’s office.
A section of MPs had claimed that officers who worked under Raila have either been transferred or are being intimidated and harassed since Ruto took over.
“Those claims are based on mischief, in our opinion they are neither here nor there, no one has been sacked. Nobody has been intimidated or harassed,” said Duale.