Britons on Kenya’s payroll since independence in 1963 embarrass the treasury

Economy

Britons on Kenya’s payroll since independence in 1963 embarrass the treasury


PS Julius Muia treasure. PHOTO FILE | NMG

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summary

  • Parliament ordered the Treasury to provide proof that Asians and Europeans who retired 58 years ago but continue to receive pensions at Kenyan taxpayers’ expense are still alive.
  • The retirees served in the British colonial administration and retired before and shortly after independence in 1963.
  • The Treasury makes payments in sterling through the Crown Agents Bank, a leading development bank regulated by the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom.

Parliament ordered the Treasury to provide proof that Asians and Europeans who retired 58 years ago but continue to receive pensions at Kenyan taxpayers’ expense are still alive.

The retirees served in the British colonial administration and retired before and shortly after independence in 1963.

The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) gave Principal Secretary of the Treasury Julius Muia seven days to file retirees’ personal files and life certificates before payments could be made in accordance with internal controls of the pensions department.

The Treasury makes payments in sterling through the Crown Agents Bank, a leading development bank regulated by the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom.

Kenyan taxpayers paid 150 million shillings to retirees and an additional 112 million shillings to widows of deceased foreign workers hired by the British colonial administration.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu raised the red flag on the Treasury pension payroll for Asian and European retirees who retired due to the Africanization of the public sector after independence in 1963.

“However, no evidence has been provided that retirees’ personal files and life certificates were submitted before payments were made, as required by the Pensions Department’s internal controls,” Gathungu said.

Colonial retirees are required to file life certificates each April, and when they die, Crown agents remove their names from the records.

Treasury officials had not previously explained why Kenya had not conducted a count of British retirees, but instead chose to rely on Crown agent records.

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale has asked Dr Muia to establish life certificates and payment schedules for Asian and European retirees within a week of Monday, July 19, 2021.

“We cannot pay millions to people who have not existed since 1963. If they are alive, they were fired 58 years ago. We want life certificates and weekly payment schedules, ”said Duale.

Pension payments

The UK pays around 75 percent of the pension to former colonial employees, while Kenya makes up the remaining 25 percent.

“We don’t have life certificates. We will get details of the recipients of Sh61.9 million. These people are in Kenya and I ask you to give us two weeks to provide these details, ”Dr Muia told the committee.

The latest directive to the Treasury comes seven years after Parliament ordered a new audit of pensions paid to former state employees residing abroad.

In 2014, PAC ordered a second audit after it emerged that a precedent in 2011 to verify the existence of retirees had confirmed only one retiree, with records of 40 more missing.

Some 927 retirees are receiving amounts ranging from £ 0.06 to £ 50.42 through the UK Department for International Development.


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