Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has raised a red flag after noting some British colonial government workers, who retired 58 years ago were still on Kenya’s payroll.
Gathungu’s report showed that Kenyan taxpayers paid KSh 150 million to Asian and European pensioners who were rendered jobless after independence in 1963.
Another KSh 112 million was wired to the widows of the deceased foreign workers who had been hired by the colonial administration.
Weighing in on the revelation, the agitated Members of Parliament directed the Treasury to first find out if the said pensioners earning at the expense of Kenyan taxpayers were still alive.
The lawmakers in the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) gave the Treasury a seven-day ultimatum to provide personal files of the pensioners before any payment is made.
The British colonial retirees are paid by Kenya’s Ministry of Finance through the United Kingdom regulated Crown Agents Bank in sterling pounds.
Gathungu noted that the payment was made even before the pensioners submitted their life certificates as required by the Pension Department.
The department requires the foreign retirees to file a life certificate every April and the payments stop when they die.
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale said Kenyans cannot continue paying nonexistent people who retired in 1963.
“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 Duale.
In a separate story, Gathungu unearthed a mileage fraud in parliament and disclosed three members received KSh 16 million in travel expenses all within a day.
Gathungu revealed the trio were paid irregularly as they received domestic travel, mileage claims and overseas travel funds indicating triple payments in a single day.
The chief auditor said the Parliamentary Service Commission did not explain why the legislators were paid twice or thrice for the same date of travel.