30 November 2012

Kenya: AG Accused of Delaying Retired Teachers of Sh16.7 Billion Pension

MPs have accused Attorney General Githu Muigai of delaying the payment of Sh16.7 billion awarded to retired teachers.

The chairman of the Departmental Committee on Education David Koech yesterday said the committee is disappointment with the AG for delayed interpretation of the payment before it is effected.

The High Court in 2008 ordered the Teachers Service Commission to pay the retired teachers Sh16.7 billion pension.

The Court of Appeal upheld tthe ruling but differed with the High Court on the mode of computation of the payment.

Due to the inconsistencies in the two rulings, the AG was required to move back to court and seek interpretation on how the issue of computation will be settled to facilitate the release of the cash. The AG is yet to seek the interpretation.

Yesterday, the education committee convened a meeting between Finance minister Njeru Githae, Education minister Mutula Kilonzo, Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo and TSC secretary Gabriel Lengoibon. Githu did not turn up for the meeting.

"We are very disappointed with the AG and the way he has been operating in the country, not only on this matter but also on other matter. We cannot allow one office to delay this matter," said Koech.

However, Githae said treasury is ready to release the funds once all legal hurdles are cleared.

The minister said some of the money was availed during the budget presented in June.

He said the plan is to pay the money in five phases with treasury setting aside Sh 3.4 billion each financial year.

The payment will be made out to teachers who retired between 1997 and 2002.

The retired teachers sued TSC in 2006 claiming unpaid lump sum salary increment and accrued pension from July 1997.

The teachers won the case before Nakuru High Court judge David Maraga.

The judge ruled that all retired teachers covered by the agreement between the TSC and Kenya National Union of Teachers were entitled to their retirement benefits.

Githae said effecting the payment before clearing the issue of computation may cause teachers who retired in other years to sue demanding payment.

Githae told the MPs that similar suits could see the government pay up to Sh123 billion.

He said teachers who retired between 20003 and 2006 may sue for similar payment unless the AG seeks the interpretations before the first payment is done.

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