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Funding Dispute: CS Kuria Reveals Details of Ruto-Uhuru Phone Call Over Retirement Benefits

Funding Dispute: CS Kuria Reveals Details of Ruto-Uhuru Phone Call Over Retirement Benefits

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has revealed details of a phone conversation between President William Ruto and his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, regarding the funding of the former president’s office.

During an appearance on Citizen TV’s ‘The Explainer’ show on Tuesday night, Kuria mentioned that President Ruto informed ministers about his discussion with Uhuru during a Cabinet meeting at State House, Nairobi.

Kuria stated that among other concerns, Uhuru expressed dissatisfaction with the number of security personnel assigned to him, suggesting an increase from the current 40.

Kuria quoted Ruto, saying that they discussed specific issues, including the security detail for the former president, who believes the current number of guards is insufficient.

Uhuru felt the 40 officers were inadequate and it was decided that he could choose whether to increase it to 50, 60, 70, or 80. Kuria noted he only has two security personnel but acknowledged that retired presidents typically justify having over 40 guards.

Kuria also mentioned that President Ruto established a special committee, including Interior CS Kithure Kindiki, Police IG Japhet Koome, and himself, to address Uhuru’s additional concerns, including staffing issues.

When asked why President Ruto created the committee to enforce existing provisions of the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act, Kuria explained that Uhuru’s requests were beyond standard protocol.

Kuria questioned the normalcy of designating a home as a government office, acknowledging it as unconventional, but stated the President chose to address the issue pragmatically.

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Kuria noted that the retired president’s home would now be a government office, a unique situation. Despite following the Act, President Ruto wanted to manage the situation delicately, asking the team to reassess and accommodate Uhuru’s needs.

This disclosure follows Uhuru’s public demand to President Ruto for his retirement benefits, which he claims have been withheld.

Uhuru’s spokesperson, Kanze Dena, stated that the retired president’s office has been deprived of its entitlements, with the State House remaining silent on the issue.

Despite Uhuru receiving monthly allowances, medical cover, and a gratuity of Ksh.48 million, Dena highlighted that other expected benefits have not been provided.

Dena emphasized the lack of budget allocations to the office, indicating intentional restrictions.

She noted that out of the Ksh.655 million allocated for 2022/2023, only Ksh.28 million has been spent on domestic travel allowances and two official trips, accounting for approximately 4.4% of the budget, excluding salaries and medical insurance.

Dena added that none of the Ksh.503 million expected for 2023/2024 has been received, leaving Kenyatta’s office with a pending budget of around Ksh.1 billion.

Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura later denied these claims, asserting that the State has records of services provided to Uhuru’s office as recently as May 15, 2024.

Funding Dispute: CS Kuria Reveals Details of Ruto-Uhuru Phone Call Over Retirement Benefits

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