Former First Girl Mama Ngina Kenyatta’s State pension has been elevated to Sh679,800 month-to-month amid renewed scrutiny over her household’s multibillion-shilling wealth.
Mama Ngina’s pension was raised from Sh568,218 that she earned in 2018 at taxpayers’ expense for being the partner of Kenya’s first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who died in 1978, Treasury paperwork seen by the Enterprise Each day present.
The lavish retirement advantages supplied to State officers and personalities like Mama Ngina has come beneath heavy criticism on grounds they exited public workplace with outsized wealth, together with prime properties price billions of shillings and huge enterprise pursuits.
The previous First Girl’s State cost is tied to the regulation that gives for a partner of a sitting or a retired president to be paid 40 % of the present wage paid to the sitting Head of State ought to their husband die.
However some legal professionals reckon that the cost is just not in line with the Presidential Retirement Advantages Act, which took impact in January 2003.
They argue that the regulation can’t be utilized retrospectively, signalling it ought to apply to the partner of a sitting or retired president who died after 2003.
Mama Ngina’s private wealth stays unknown, however the Kenyattas are thought of one in every of Africa’s wealthiest households, with its huge enterprise pursuits spanning transport, insurance coverage, lodges, farming, land possession and media in Kenya.
The Kenyatta household’s huge enterprise empire is related to well-known business manufacturers and blue chip corporations, together with Brookside Dairies and NCBA Group.
The household’s wealth was just lately within the highlight after President William Ruto’s political allies known as for a probe of the Kenyattas’ companies tax data, amid claims they acquired waivers.
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In addition they wished counties to audit land charges paid by the Kenyattas on 1000’s acres they personal throughout the nation.
The push for the probe emerged weeks after Dr Ruto’s swearing-in after the Supreme Courtroom upheld his victory following a petition by veteran opposition chief Raila Odinga, who this time had the help of his former foe ex-President Uhuru Kenyatta.
An enormous leak of economic dealings of the wealthy, dubbed Pandora papers, revealed in 2021 that the Kenyattas secretly owned a community of 13 offshore corporations for many years.
The Kenyattas’ offshore investments had an organization with shares and bonds price $30m and a secret basis arrange in 2003 in Panama naming Mama Ngina as the primary benefactor and Uhuru because the second benefactor, who would inherit it after her dying.
The Kenyatta household matriarch began receiving the State-backed month-to-month cost earlier than her son, Uhuru, turned President in 2013, officers on the Treasury say.
At 40 % of the sitting president’s wage, Mama Ngina is entitled to a Sh576,000 month-to-month pay, which rises to Sh679,800 after factoring different advantages and will increase that occur each two years.
“Partner advantages upon the dying of a serving President or of a retired President who’s in receipt of or who’s entitled to a pension beneath this Act, his surviving partner shall be entitled to advantages amounting to fifty % of such pension,” says the Presidential Retirement Advantages Act.
The month-to-month pension of a retired president is about at 80 % of the present wage paid to the sitting President moreover different perks like gas, home and leisure allowances.
Uhuru began receiving the Sh1.32 million month-to-month pay from December 1 and was paid a lump sum of Sh39.6 million, in accordance with Treasury paperwork seen by the Enterprise Each day.
The month-to-month cost of Mama Ngina, 90, has positioned the previous First Girl in a small and unique membership that features former high public officers who set again taxpayers greater than Sh500 million each month to maintain them comfy in retirement.
This contains former vice-presidents Moody Awori and Kalonzo Musyoka and retired parliamentary audio system — Kenneth Marende, Francis ole Kaparo and Ekwee Ethuro — who’re paid a whole bunch of 1000’s month-to-month moreover juicy perks like gas and medical allowance and tens of aides paid by the State.
The Treasury has put aside over Sh1 billion within the present monetary yr ending June to cater for the retirement advantages of the privileged former State officers in a bundle that additionally contains the pay and perks of opposition chief Raila Odinga for his position as Prime Minister between 2008 and 2013.
This underlines the taxpayers’ burden of maintaining former State officers comfy in retirement.
The Kenyatta household established its political and enterprise pursuits throughout the 15-year rule of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta.
After his dying, Mama Ngina, his fourth spouse, performed a pivotal position in increasing the household’s enterprise pursuits, with the assistance of skilled worldwide wealth specialists, notably from personal banks just like the Swiss financial institution Union Bancaire Privée (UBP).
The Kenyattas management about 13.2 % stake of NCBA Group, valuing their stake at Sh7.94 billion primarily based on the financial institution’s market valuation of Sh60.2 billion at shut of buying and selling Thursday.
Different investments are Brookside Dairy —the place the previous President’s youthful brother, Muhoho Kenyatta, sits as government chairman — high-end Peponi College and the upmarket and stylish resort chain, Heritage Accommodations East Africa.
The household can also be linked to Media Max Firm, which owns K24 TV, Kameme Radio and The Folks Each day newspaper.
It additionally owns 1000’s of acres of prime land throughout Kenya that was acquired by Jomo Kenyatta within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies beneath a settlement switch fund scheme that allowed authorities officers to accumulate land from the British.
The household’s business empire grew throughout Uhuru’s presidency, with enlargement plans, buyouts and mergers taking centre stage.