Retired teachers back in court over payments

The legal tussle pitting retired teachers is far from over as they moved back to court to protest the delay in payment of their pension.

The teachers want the court to compel the Director of Pensions and the Teachers Service Commission to give information on the number of retired teachers who have so far been paid their dues and give time frames for the others.

The teachers, who are represented by lawyer Dominic Kimata are demanding to know why the director of pensions has failed to follow a direct court order pertaining the issuance of pension in a systematic manner in which those who retired earliest would be given priority.

The teachers told Justice Janet Mulwa sitting in Nakuru that some of their colleagues who retired between 1997 and 2003 were denied their pensions, while those who retired later in 2003 and 2004 had received part of their pension.

Justice Mulwa, in her ruling, asked the director of pensions to file his reply to the submissions by the teachers within 14days as the matter ought to be treated with urgency.

This matter has taken too long in court and should now be treated with urgency, we therefore expect the parties to reply within 14days, said Judge Mulwa.

The director of pensions Mr. Shem Nyakutu was earlier sentenced to a 30 days jail term or pays an equivalent amount of money for failing to disburse S.5 billion meant for retired teachers, despite the cash being provided by the National Treasury.

The sentence followed a suit by over 52 000 teachers who retired between August 1997 and September 1998.

The retirees wanted Nyakutu and Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia committed to a six months jail term for failing to remit the money to their accounts.

However, in her ruling, Mulwa acknowledged that the TSC boss and the Controller of Budget had already complied with the court order.

Kimatta demanded to know the names of the teachers who have already received their pensions so as to raise the matter in court and demand answers from the director of pensions.

The number of former teachers listed has been swelling and now stands at over 52,000 demanding over Sh42.3 billion in arrears.

The court has set 19th September 2017 for a mention to establish if the parties have complied with the court orders.

Their unpaid dues have been accruing interest at the rate of 14 per cent per annum since the initial judgment was made by Justice David Maraga (now Chief Justice) on October 23, 2008 that directed TSC to pay the retired teachers their dues.

The retirees who were covered by the 1997 agreement between the government and the Kenya National Union (Knut) first sued TSC in 2006, claiming unpaid lump-sum salary raises and accrued pension from July 1997.

The former teachers drawn from various parts of the country have been entangled in vicious court battles with the TSC since 2008, but the TSC has on several occasions presented documents in court to show that they were working on the matter with a view to settling it.

Source: Kenya News Agency