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HomeWealthMonthly Pension, Security Personnel and Vehicles Awarded to Retired First Ladies in...

Monthly Pension, Security Personnel and Vehicles Awarded to Retired First Ladies in Kenya

In Kenya, the wives of former presidents have long been entitled to a generous package of benefits, including a significant monthly salary, a fleet of vehicles and other allowances.

However, this practice, which dates years back, has been the subject of controversy and debate despite it being protected by the Constitution.

The Presidential Retirement Benefits Act provides for the spouse of a sitting or retired president to receive 40% of the current salary paid to the sitting head of state should their husband die.

This means that retired First Ladies like Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the wife of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta, continue to receive substantial financial support from the government.

But how much do retired First Ladies earn, and what are the other perks that they get to enjoy? Here is a comprehensive story by WoK.

Retired First Ladies are entitled to a number of perks including a monthly salary, vehicles, fuel cards and security personnel among others.

According to the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act, “Spouse benefits upon the death of a serving president or a retired president who is in recipient of or who is entitled to a pension under this Act, his surviving spouse shall be entitled to benefits of amounting to 50% of such pension.”

In April 2023, Mama Ngina’s State pension was increased to Ksh 679,800 up from Ksh 568,218 that she earned every month.

Other than a monthly pay, First Ladies are also entitled to vehicles, provided by the government, to help them move around when they need to.

In a statement in May 2024, Government Spokesperson Issac Mwaura issued a statement disclosing that the government had given retired president Uhuru Kenyatta and his mother, Mama Ngina, 12 vehicles.

Whole claiming that the provision is more than what they are entitled to, Mwaura added that the vehicles are fully maintained and fueled by the government.

At the time, Mama Ngina was issued with three fuel cards for her vehicles.

The vehicles include two Toyota Land Cruisers with a 4,000cc engine capacity, one Mercedes Benz with a 5,000cc engine, four Toyota Prados with 2,700cc engines and two Range Rovers with 4,200cc engines.

Retired First Ladies are also entitled to security personnel who guard their residences, accompany them to public functions and serve as their drivers.

Surviving former First Ladies are Mama Ngina Kenyatta and Uhuru’s wife, Mama Margaret Kenyatta who are both from the Kenyatta Family.

The Kenyatta Family

While Mama Ngina’s net worth remains unknown, it is understood that the Kenyatta family are considered one of the wealthiest families in Africa.

The family is known for its business interests in a wide range of industries, including banking, real estate, agriculture and media.

The family’s wealth and political power have led to accusations of corruption and nepotism, with some alleging that the family uses its influence to secure favorable government contracts and business deals.

In the education sector, the Kenyatta Family owns Peponi School, a private, co-educational boarding school located in Ruiru, Kiambu County, Kenya.

It was founded in 1989 by Richard and Carol Kettlewell and is now owned by the Kenyatta family.

Over the years, the family has also shown a keen interest in investing in the agriculture industry locally proven by its ownership of Brookside Group Ltd, Brookside Africa Ltd, Brookside Dairy Ltd, Illara Dairy, Gicheha Investments Ltd and Gicheha Farm Ruiru.

The Kenyatta family has also invested in the financial sector, mining, media and the hospitality industry with companies such as Mediamax Network and NCBA Bank Kenya PLC.

The family also owns New Bluepost Hotels and which is in charge of seven properties including Mara Explorer, Mara Interpids, Samburu Interpids, Great Rift Valley Lodge, Kipungani Explorer, Voyager Beach Resort and Voyager Ziwani.