NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 15 – Jubilee lawmakers and their CORD counterparts are set to renew their rivalry when they debate a presidential memorandum vetoing a Bill providing for the pensions of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and ex-Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
The MPs who have come under criticism following their unprecedented unity in which they rejected President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nomination of Monica Juma as Secretary to the Cabinet are expected to resume ‘business as usual’ when they debate the memorandum.
Majority Leader Aden Duale says he does not expect to face resistance from the Opposition when he submits the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Bill in the House Tuesday.
CORD with a membership of 197 MPs in the House will need to convince 152 other MPs to get the 232 or two-thirds majority to retain the Bill as passed by the House.
If MPs fail to raise the two-thirds threshold, it means the clause will remain.
House Minority Leader Francis Nyenze said they will be meeting to strategise on a way of ensuring their CORD leaders get their pension.
In his memorandum to the House, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he rejected the Bill, because he wants the CORD co-principals to relinquish their party positions if they are to qualify for the pensions.
Odinga and Musyoka who have both expressed interest in the 2017 presidential race, have protested the imposition of conditions before they are paid their dues, saying they will not be blackmailed into quitting elective politics.
The adoption of president’s recommendation would mean that Odinga and Kalonzo lump sum payout would drop drastically with the former PM receiving Sh14.4 million from the proposed Sh21.6 million while former VP will receive Sh13.2 million from Sh19.8 million
The memorandum to be considered by the House also proposes MPs include former Vice Presidents and House Speakers who served during the country since 1993.
In doing this, President Kenyatta explained that locking out those who served from January 1993, which marked the start of the multi-party government, would be unfair.
“These persons were instrumental in holding the country together by offering dynamic and focused leadership that ensured meaningful and responsible democratization and economic prosperity of this country,” he said.
The new clause means former House Speaker Francis Kaparo and former Vice-President and Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi will have to forfeit positions as the National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman and that of Amani National Congress Party Leader respectively.
Moody Awori who served as Vice President during President Mwai Kibaki’s regime will be among the beneficiaries, should the House agree with President Kenyatta’s recommendations.
Families to former Vice Presidents the late George Saitoti and the late Michael Kijana Wamalwa will get half their pensions.
Those who get the benefits will be entitled to State funerals.