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Ruto And Uhuru Clash Over Office

The former president has explained that he wants his Caledonia residence in Nairobi to serve as the office of the retired President.

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Official operations of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta have assumed a new twist after the government maintained that the fouth Head of State must move to Nairobi’s Nyari Office Complex which was used by the late President Mwai Kibaki.

The government’s stance is likely to ex- heighten the apparent stand-off between the government and Kenyatta over where the former President should operate from.

For almost two years now, the govern- ment has insisted that Uhuru moves into the property that was occupied by Kibaki in Nyari, while the retired president wants to convert his private residence into an office and rent paid by taxpayers.

The Nyari property, that sits on about an acre parcel of land, was bought at Sh250 million in 2013. Since exiting office, Kenyat- ta has never been allocated a government sponsored office as required by the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act of 2003.

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The Act provides that any retired Presi- dent while still alive is entitled to an office and permanent staff, who shall be public officers remunerated on the terms dictated by the Salaries and Remuneration Com- mission (SRC) among other privileges.

“There’s an office complex in Nyari that has been used by a previous president, the
late President Mwai Kibaki, and he occu- pied that office for nine years. It is very well known that the office is there and former President Kibaki used it for nine years. It is vacant. President Uhuru Kenyatta can use that office as and when he deems fit to use it,” State House Spokesman Hussein Mo- hammed said.

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On his part, Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing’oei said that Kenya trusts and believes in the role of its former leaders adding that their offices are supported in accordance to the law.
Budgetary allocations

He exonerated Ruto’s administration from any wrong doing following media reports that the government had denied Kenyatta money to fund retirement office.

“As far as we are concerned, we have seen nothing that the government has done to diminish the role of that office. I think Kenya is a well-known democratic state has institutions, including institu- tions touching on budgetary allocations,” Korir said.

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He went on: “The entire budgetary pro- cess takes a while. Citizens are consulted. They provide their input. Parliament is now taking charge of the process through the fi- nance bill and the finance legislation.”

On reports that the former President’s of- fice being denied operational funds, Mo- hammed said there were official channels Uhuru’s office can access the funds.

“As for the other matters about budget, there are channels and mechanisms to access budget and provision in the Office of the Fourth President and all those have been provided for officially for any official engagement,” the Spokesperson said.

Standoff erupted

According to the PS, the Foreign Office does not see anything to warrant any con- cerns regarding Kenya’s democratic cre- dentials as President Ruto heads to the US for a state visit.

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A standoff has erupted between Kenyat- ta and President William Ruto’s govern- ment after the former declined to occupy the Nyari office.

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It emerged that former Head of State prefers an office near Statehouse but the
government has been adamant to yield to his demand terming it as misuse of public funds.

It is said that Uhuru wants to be allowed to operate from an office of his choice, the same way others who retired before him like former Presidents Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi , former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice Presidents Moody Awori and Kalonzo Musyoka were allowed.

The former president has explained that he wants his Caledonia residence in Nairobi to serve as the office of the retired President.

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