Kenyan Presidents lose the power to hire personal staff as Public Service Commission tries to tame runaway public wage bill

President Uhuru Kenyatta with former President's Mwai Kibaki and Daniel Arap Moi
  • Former presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki will no longer have the power to hire personal staff in a raft of changes made in the public service appointments.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have not been spared either and will also be denied the privilege.
  • Official data indicates that the cost of staff attached to Mr Kibaki and Mr Moi has for the first time crossed the Sh100 million ($1 million) mark in the 2019/20 spending plan.

In the first case of Public Service Commission (PSC) taking a step to tame the runaway public wage bill Kenya’s presidents have become its first victims.

Former presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki will no longer have the power to hire personal staff in a raft of changes made in the public service appointments.

At the moment, the ex-presidents have a free hand to hire and fire personal staff. Ex-presidents in Kenya are entitled to two personal assistants, four secretaries, four messengers, four drivers, house keepers, home cleaners and bodyguards, bringing the total number of personal staff to 34, excluding security guards who should be at least six.

“Subject to the provisions of Article 214 (4) of the Constitution, the Presidential Retirements Benefits Act, 2003 and the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Act, the PSC shall appoint the personal staff of the President, Deputy President and retired Presidents.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have not been spared either and will also be denied the privilege.

Under the Public Service Commission (PSC) regulations, 2019, staff of ex-presidents, among them cooks, personal assistants and gardeners will now be appointed by the PSC.

The employer will also provide the ex-presidents with health fitness instructors, housekeepers and other support staff.

Kenyan taxpayers have to shoulder all the costs of keeping ex-presidents happy and comfortable despite them leaving the office as rich men.

Official data indicates that the cost of staff attached to Mr Kibaki and Mr Moi has for the first time crossed the Sh100 million ($1 million) mark in the 2019/20 spending plan.

The Treasury has allocated the retired presidents’ workers Sh117.3 million for salaries and allowances in the year that started on July 1, reflecting a 24.8 percent growth on the Sh95 million spent in year ended June 30.

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