Reports are merging of overcrowding in Nyeri County hospitals. Patients are sharing beds, risking infecting each other. The hospital in question is dilapidated and in great need of repair.
Yet a stone throw away stands a palace of Royal proportions upon which the Kenya government splashed 500 million Kenya Shillings for the former president – Mwai Kibaki. Kibaki has never set foot in the facility that is guarded round the clock by policemen – even as the government protests the lack of enough policemen.
The house, situated just next to Mweiga airstrip has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, guest house, secretariat offices, canteen for workers, and accommodation for security officers. It is fully staffed with 38 servants paid by the public. These government paid employees dust, clean, mow the grass, plant and maintain flowers and prepare the best of meals – just in case Kibaki might drop by.
The palace is built on a 1,000 acre farm that was “donated” to him in 2010 by Sasini Estates, controlled by businessman Naushad Meerali. Kibaki kept the “gift” despite a clear law that requires such gifts to be surrendered to the government.
Shortly after Kibaki handed over to Uhuru, new furniture was ferried to the home. The estate previously grew coffee and reared grade cows. It is 25 kilometres from his other country home at Othaya Kanyange.
The Othaya home is also guarded by a platoon of soldiers and has government paid employees also dusting and cutting grass. The government spent millions “renovating” the Othaya home the day Kibaki became President. Those who had seen the estate before the “security Refurbishment” speak of a complete metamorphosis with no holds barred on spending on luxury. Again with similar facilities as in the Mwiga house, Kibaki is spoilt for choice of where to swim or enjoy a jacuzzi.
Kibaki is a polygamist. His other wife also has a home in Nairobi and another in Nyeri. These homes are as palatial as the others. More policemen and soldiers protect the second wife and her offspring.
The government also provides Kibaki with an office. It cost slightly over 250 Million to acquire and draws close to half that amount annually in running costs. Here Kibaki is also entitled to full fledged round the clock security provided by the elite Police battalions. He has a permanent police presence, complete with road blocks leading to the office. It is no place for peasants to walk in and out. Kibaki intended to run his vast business empire from this Command and Control Centre. He has reportedly graced the said “office twice and thereafter eschewed it.
It is not some ordinary building. It is equipped with a swimming pool for Kibaki to take a swim when the stresses of the job of being a retired president gets to his self. The compound has a well manicured garden maintained by four employees also known as “Shamba (Garden) Boys” in colonial fashion. For some reason, Kibaki’s office boasts of a dam!
The government further spends money on Mwai Kibaki’s private homes in Nairobi. He moved back to his Muthaiga home on Chui Road since he handed over power to Uhuru Kenyatta on April 9.
Yet Kibaki is not a poor man. He is one of the richest men in the country. He recently sold a building in the city for close to a billion Kenya shillings.
He has a very generous pension to which he contributed nothing! He collected Sh17 million lump sum in gratuity upon ceding office. He receives Sh950,000 tax-free pension each month — calculated as 80 per cent of the salary of the present President. This amount rises with the rise of the sitting president’s salary.
He takes home Sh300,000 a month in housing allowance – despite the government having built, staffed and furnished a palace for him; The government shells out Sh300,000 each month as electricity, water and telephone allowances; and a further Sh200,000 monthly as entertainment allowance.
In this age of Global Warming, Kibaki is entitled to two four-wheel drive cars with an engine capacity of 3,400 cc and two others of his choice with an engine capacity of at least 3,000 cc.
The government fuels the guzzlers with a Sh200,000 monthly in fuel allowance.
All this is happening as policemen in North Eastern province are paid a paltry 20 shillings in “hardship” allowance. Then Kenyans get surprised when the said policemen accept bribes and wave Al Shabaab through roadblocks.