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Revealed: Mama Ngina Kenyatta’s State salary

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Former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta has been receiving a monthly pay in excess of half a million shillings from the government amid legal debate on whether she is entitled to the payments.

Official documents from the Presidency indicate that Mrs Kenyatta receives Sh568, 218 monthly at taxpayers’ expense for being the spouse of Kenya’s first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who died in 1978. Treasury officials say the payment is tied to the law that provides for a spouse of a sitting or retired president to be paid 40 percent of the current salary paid to the sitting head of state should their husband die.

But some lawyers reckon that the payment is not consistent with the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act, which took effect in January 2003.

“Ideally, this law cannot be applied retrospectively. Mrs Kenyatta, while

deserving State pension or gratuity, is not entitled to a government pay when the Act is applied strictly,” said a lawyer who requested anonymity because he did not want to be seen discussing the first family in public.

Mrs Kenyatta started receiving the payment before her son, Uhuru Kenyatta, became President in 2013, officials at the Presidency say.

At 40 percent of the sitting president’s salary, Mrs Kenyatta is in line for a Sh577, 500 monthly pay.

READ ALSO:   #TBT: Mama Ngina listed top investor in Kenya Power with 2.2M shares

“Spouse benefits upon the death of a serving President or of a retired President who is in receipt of or who is entitled to a pension under this Act, his surviving spouse shall be entitled to benefits amounting to fifty percent of such pension,” says the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act.

The monthly pension of retired presidents– Mwai Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi—is set at 80 percent of the current salary paid to the sitting President besides other perks like fuel, house and entertainment allowances.

This places their monthly pension at Sh1.15 million compared to the Sh1.44 million that Mr Kenyatta earns every month.

The monthly payment of Mrs Kenyatta, 86, has placed the former First Lady in a small and exclusive club that includes former top public officials who set back taxpayers more than half a million shillings every month to keep them comfortable in retirement.

This includes former Vice-President Moody Awori and retired Parliament Speakers — Kenneth Marende, Francis ole Kaparo and Ekwee Ethuro — who are paid hundreds of thousands monthly besides juicy perks like fuel and medical allowance and tens of aides paid by the State.

The Treasury has set aside Sh1.5 billion in the current financial year ending June to cater for the retirement benefits of the privileged former State officials in a package that will also include the pay and perks of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice-Presidents Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi.

READ ALSO:   Kenyatta family acquires another bank at Sh1.4B

This underlines the taxpayers burden of keeping former State officials comfortable in retirement.

The lavish package has also come under heavy criticism on grounds that some of the retired ‘State officials left office as rich men with property worth billions of shillings and vast business interests.

As the matriarch in charge of the Kenyatta family’s vast business empire, Mama Ngina presides over an enterprise that is associated with wellknown commercial brands and blue chip companies.

Nigeria-based financial magazine, Ventures, in 2013 estimated the Kenyatta family fortune, including thousands of acres of land and commercial buildings to be worth $1 billion (Sh100 billion).

But the full extent of the business dynasty, however, is still a closely guarded secret known only to the family, top lawyers and the elite investors with whom they do business.

The Kenyatta family owned a significant stake in Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), which recently merged with the listed NIC Bank, to form NCBA Group—which is listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

The Kenyattas control about 13.2 percent of the new entity, valuing their stake at Sh6.43 billion based on the bank’s market valuation of Sh48.68 billion at close of trading yesterday.

Others investments are Brookside Dairy—where the President’s younger brother, Muhoho Kenyatta, sits as executive chairman, and the upmarket and chic hotel chain, Heritage Hotels East Africa.

READ ALSO:   Kenyatta family acquires another bank at Sh1.4B

The family is also linked to Media Max Company, which owns K24 TV, Kameme Radio and The People Daily newspaper.

It also owns thousands of acres of prime land across Kenya that was acquired by the late President Kenyatta in the ‘60s and ‘70s under a settlement transfer fund scheme that allowed government officials to acquire land from the British.

By BD

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Health

Covid-19 scare: Taxi driver dies in his car in Juja

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The scene caught the eyes of many, at a time almost every move and incident is deemed suspicious.

In the video posted on social media on Monday, three people in white suits and other protective clothing are covering and zipping up a man in a body bag.

A fourth man, with a hand pump, approaches the group and sprays a car parked nearby.

This is the vehicle James Maina used to operate as a taxi.

To many residents, what was being zipped up in the bag was a living Covid-19 patient. The truth, however, is that Maina had died in the car.

‘TERRIBLE SCENE’

When his body was being taken metres from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Juja on Sunday morning, witnesses thought Maina had died from Covid-19.

“The whole exercise created a terrible scene. Many people thought he had been killed by the virus,” Mr Charles Chege, whose brother’s car Maina used to operate as a taxi, said.

According to Mr Chege, picking a corpse in a body bag without ascertaining the cause of death “is not good, and only adds pain and sadness to the bereaved”.
He added that Maina was known to him for long.

The taxi driver died outside a clinic, having spent the whole Saturday night in the car with all windows rolled up and doors locked.

READ ALSO:   Kenyatta family acquires another bank at Sh1.4B

Locals became suspicious when they found the car with mist on its windows on Sunday morning.

“I used to drive the car before he took it. When people saw it, they thought I was the one inside. I began receiving calls at 6am but went back to sleep,” Mr Chege said.

“The number of calls increased. When I finally picked up the phone, the caller said some people were attempting to break the car windows.”

He added that Maina’s death is mysterious as he was not ill.

“He was working normally. Maina may have been going home before curfew time and dropped by some joint for a drink. It is probably at this time that he began feeling sick,” Mr Chege said.

According to witnesses, the vehicle was seen speeding with lights on, before being found where it was parked on Sunday.

HOOTED REPEATEDLY

Locals said the vehicle also hooted repeatedly and the security guards at the hospital may have ignored Maina thinking he was drunk. That was around 8pm on Saturday.

Maina then slumped in his seat with a foot on the clutch and appeared to have fallen asleep.

Mr Chege said Maina may have have trying to seek urgent treatment.

“He never parks there but he sped towards the hospital on that day,” he said.

READ ALSO:   #TBT: Mama Ngina listed top investor in Kenya Power with 2.2M shares

“His drink may have been spiked or he was just drunk. Perhaps he suffocated.”
The car keys and Maina’s mobile phone were in his pockets.

Maina’s wife Esther Wangari said he had not been sick.

“He was fine when he left the house. He never even sneezed. There are many questions that demand answers. His lips were dry when I saw the body,” she said.

“I tried contacting him but he did not pick my calls. I thought he was busy,” she said.

By Nation.co.ke

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Entertainment

Amina Abdi: Bribery made me quit music

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Media personality Amina Abdi Rabar has revealed that she quit doing music because of rampant bribing she experienced in the Kenyan music industry.

Before joining the media, Amina’s first love was music. She gave a glimpse of her singing talent with songs such as On Me, featuring Jay A, and Swag, featuring Octopizzo.

CRAZY BRIBERY

However, Amina, who hosts the weekly show The Trend on NTV, would quit music almost immediately to fully concentrate on building a career in the media as well as establish herself as one of the most sought after emcees in the country.

But why exactly did she dump the recording booth?

“It was the bribing you had to do and because I was on radio and no one was paying me to play any of the music. I didn’t expect that. It really caught me by surprise,” Amina said in a conversation with Vybz Yaard.

But that wasn’t all. Making music also proved to be very expensive for her.

EXPENSIVE VENTURE

“There was lack of support and then it was very difficult to get started. They say there is a certain video type of quality that can be played on air. A good quality video, how much is it? By that time when I was releasing Paint Town Red I was told 300K and I’m making sijui 15K. It was really hard and TV and radio was picking up. I could see the potential it had, so that’s what I focused on,” said Amina, who is also presenter at Capital FM.

READ ALSO:   Kenyatta family acquires another bank at Sh1.4B

Amina however says she will soon make a comeback to music after almost a decade of silence.

But this time round, she says, she will be doing music only as a hobby with the media remaining her core hustle.

Amina started her media career at Homeboyz Radio where she met her husband DJ John Rabar, one of the station’s founders.

AMINA’S DRIVE

The bubbly presenter, who is also a notable influencer, says besides being self-driven, her husband Rabar is the one who constantly challenges her to work even harder.

“My partner also pushes me, my husband works very hard. He is extremely ambitious and really pushes me to work harder. He never allows me to take breaks. If you have someone like that who you live with, who is always working, anakuaga na zile za wewe una do nini? So pia wewe unajipata unafanya vitu,” she said.

HBR radio owner DJ John and his wife Amina Abdi

Amina and Rabar have a son and hinted they may never make any more babies.

By Nairobi News

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Business

Plane capacities will not be reduced for social distancing, Transport CS says

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Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said airline capacity will not be reduced to observe social distancing rules once domestic and international flights resume.

The CS made the announcement while outlining the protocols the ministry has come up with to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country during a press briefing on Wednesday at Transcom House in Nairobi.

AIR TRAVEL

This comes at a time the country is preparing to open its airspace for domestic and international flights in the next few weeks.

Macharia said airlines will not have to drastically reduce the number of passengers for them to fly, adding that if they carry less than 75 per cent in their flights, they would incur losses.

He said this will help in revamping the tourism sector, which has taken a hit since the pandemic struck the country in March this year.

“The passengers must go with Covid-19 free certificate. I would expect that if you are flying out, it would be prudent for you to be tested because you may not be allowed into other countries,” he said.

The CS also said an exception would be made for passengers who have to catch a late-night flight.

“If you are flying at night and you show the boarding pass/ticket, you will be allowed to go to the airport with your driver,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Kenyatta family acquires another bank at Sh1.4B

AIR TICKET PRICES

The CS, however, discouraged travellers from having many people escorting them to the airport.

In May, Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka said the price of air tickets will most likely be hiked if the government allows the national carrier to resume flights.

He indicated that air travel would completely change as every country comes up with new plans and policies to be adapted post coronavirus.

He noted that 55 to 65 per cent of people travel for leisure, which means between May and December airlines are missing out on this big business and income.

“Travel is not going to be cheap. 55-65 per cent of people travel for leisure. Therefore we are going to lose 51-76 per cent of our market between now and December as business travellers are the ones that are going to travel first,” Kilavuka said.

SAFETY MEASURES

The KQ boss noted that among other measures wearing of masks will be mandatory for passengers and crew while airport staff will be required to wear protective gear.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced that all international flights shall resume from August 1.

The President also announced the resumption of local flights from July 15 under strict guidelines in the country’s planned phased reopening.

READ ALSO:   #TBT: Mama Ngina listed top investor in Kenya Power with 2.2M shares

The move comes after three months of suspension of all travels in and out of the country.

The global aviation industry has been massively affected by the coronavirus pandemic with most countries having suspended international flights.

By Nairobi News

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