The National Treasury has been taken to task over the payment of millions of shillings to foreigners hired by the British colonial administration.
The National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) wants the Treasury to provide proof that Asians and Europeans who continue to earn a pension from public coffers are still alive. The pensioners served in the British colonial government and retired before and shortly after independence in 1963.
The committee gave Treasury PS Julius Muia seven days to table the pensioners’ personal details and life certificates before payments can be effected in line with the Pension Department’s internal controls.
“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.
The retirees receive the payments in sterling pounds through Crown Agents Bank, a development bank regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority.
Kenyan taxpayers paid Sh262 million in pension to the foreigners, with Sh150 million going to living retirees while Sh112 million was paid to widows of the deceased foreign workers.
Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu raised the red flag on the Treasury’s pension payroll for retired Asian and European workers, saying that no evidence was provided that the pensioners’ personal files and life certificates were submitted before payments were made.
The colonial-era pensioners are required to file life certificates every year and when they die, Crown Agents delete their names from the records.
The UK foots 75 percent of the pension to former colonial employees while Kenya pays the balance of 25 percent.
“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.