Kenyan citizens paid 150 million shillings to the pensioners and a further 112 million shillings to the widows of the deceased foreign workers hired by the British colonial administration.
The Treasury has been tasked by the parliament to prove whether the Asians and Europeans who retired 58 years ago but still earning pensions are still alive.
These pensioners served during the colonial era in the British administration. Some retired before and shortly after Kenya gained independence in 1963.
The Treasury Principal Secretary, Julius Muia has been given seven days by the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to present the personal files of the pensioners as well as life certificates before payments can be made in line with the Pension Department’s internal controls.
Dr. Muia has been directed to table life certificates and payment schedules on the Asian and European pensioners within one week from Monday, July 19, 2021.
The retirees are usually paid by the Treasury in sterling pounds through Crown Agents Bank, a leading development bank that is regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority.
As established by the Business Daily, Kenyan citizens paid 150 million shillings to the pensioners and a further 112 million shillings to the widows of the deceased foreign workers hired by the British colonial administration.
The new directive follows an outcry raised by the Auditor-General, Nancy Gathungu on the Treasury’s payroll for Asians and European pensioners who retired because of the Africanisation of the public sector after independence in 1963.
“However, no evidence was provided that the pensioners’ files and life certificates were submitted before payments were effected as required by the Pension Department’s internal controls,” Ms. Gathungu said.
The colonial retirees must file life certificates every year in April and when they pass on, Crown Agents erase their details from the records.
In the past, Kenya’s Treasury officials have failed to substantiate why the country has not conducted a headcount of the said pensioners but has remained hellbent on relying on the Crown Agents’ records.
“We have no life certificates. We will get details about the recipients of Sh61.9 million. These people are in Kenya and I request you give us two weeks to furnish these details,” Dr. Muia told the committee.
“We cannot pay millions to nonexistent people since 1963. If they are alive, they were laid off 58 years ago. We want life certificates and payments schedules within a week,” said Garissa Township MP Aden Duale.
Of the total amount of pension these retirees get, the UK pays 75 percent while Kenya bridges the balance of 25 percent.
The latest move by the parliament to demand that the Treasury tables the records of the retirees comes seven years after it had ordered a fresh audit of pension payments made to former State employees resident abroad.
In 2014, PAC ordered a second audit after it emerged that an earlier one in 2011 to ascertain the existence of the retirees only confirmed a single pensioner, with records of 40 others missing.
Some 927 pensioners are paid amounts ranging from £0.06 to £50.42 through the UK Department for International Development.
Article First Published by The Business Daily.