President William Ruto and his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, had a telephone conversation on Tuesday to address the ongoing dispute over Kenyatta’s retirement benefits.

The conversation took place in the morning, following Kenyatta’s public statement about his challenges with his former deputy.

State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed confirmed the conversation, stating that President Ruto has formed a team, led by the Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, to address the raised issues. This includes the location of the retired president’s office and the staff establishment.

Also read: Uhuru accuses Ruto’s government for underfunding his office

President Ruto’s swift action comes just a day after Kenyatta questioned the whereabouts of over 1 billion Kenyan Shillings allocated to his office in the previous and current financial year.

“In the year 2022/2023 parliament allocated 655 million shillings to this office. To date the office can only confirm spending of 28 million shillings spread across payment of allowances for domestic travel as well as facilitation of the two official trips that have been honored so far,” formal spokes person Dena said.

However, spokesperson, Kanze Dena-Mararo, accused State House of hindering the operations of the retired president’s office. Kenyatta emphasized that his benefits are not a favor but his entitlement under the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act.

Ms Dena-Mararo revealed that State House has denied the retired president a budget to run his office, despite an allocation of 503 million Kenyan Shillings in the current financial year. Additionally, Kenyatta stated that he has not received the new vehicles as required by law and has been using the old transition fleet, which State House has refused to fuel and maintain.

“The financial year 2023/2024 that ends in a few weeks the budget allocation to this office was 503 million shillings. The year is ending without the office having any access to this allocation. The total amount for the two years that we have not had access to is approximately 1 billion Kenya Shillings,” Dena said.

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Dena-Mararo highlighted that the office has not had access to the allocated 1 billion Kenyan Shillings over the past two years. She also mentioned that the office can only confirm spending 28 million Kenyan Shillings, which is approximately 4.4 per cent of the total budget, for allowances and facilitation of official trips.

“This is approximately 4.4 percent of the total budget. This does not include payment of salaries and medical insurance. No other monies spent can be accounted for by this office,” Ms Dena said.

The office has not been able to account for any other expenses.

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