7 November 2012

Kenya: State Officials Conning Us, Say Retired Teachers

A group of retired teachers claiming Sh101 billion as salary arrears, pension and allowances have warned of a plot by crooked civil servants to inflate their numbers to earn extra cash.

The more than 52,000 teachers say since the government started releasing their money in bits, the offices of Controller of Budget and the Director of Pensions have been writing to the Attorney General adding names to the list of beneficiaries, thus a delaying the payments.

They told reporters in Nakuru yesterday that although the Treasury released Sh7 billion for their cause in the last two financial years, they did not receive any money.

"Sh3.4 billion was released in the 2011/2012 financial year while Sh3.6 billion was allocated to us in the 2012/2013 but we have no idea where these funds are to date," the group's lawyer Dominic Kimatta said while briefing them on the matter.

Following various correspondences between the pensions director, the budget controller and the AG, the teachers' debt has to rose to several billions because of added beneficiaries whom Kimatta said had "nothing to do with their case against the government."

Kimatta accused the two offices of ulterior motives in delaying the payment of their monies in order to profit themselves. "In my various interactions with them, the government is now saying that they have to make a provision for expected litigation before my clients are paid because if they pay the retired teachers, then retired civil servants and the police are likely to bring a similar case against the government. This is unheard of," Kimatta revealed.

He noted that the court had been consistent since 2010 in issuing orders for the retired teachers to be paid their dues, orders which have remained ignored.

Representatives of the teachers have now voiced their suspicions that some individuals in the ministries of Education, Finance and the Attorney General's office are conspiring to swindle them of their dues. The former teachers sued TSC in 2006 claiming unpaid lump sum salary increment and accrued pension from July 1997.

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