National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u was put in the spotlight, on Tuesday, May 30, for failing to honour several summonses by senate committees.
The Senate Committee of Education noted that for the fourth time, Ndung’u had failed to avail himself to answer questions about the disbursement of Ksh16.8 billion meant for retired teachers.
According to the committee, the CS failed to clarify the disbursement, with teachers claiming not to have received their pensions.
It noted that efforts to meet with CS Ndung’u to clear up the concerns were futile.
“The reason we cannot confirm the payment is that the information provided by the National Treasury indicates the number of teachers paid and the banks and SACCOs they were paid to.
“However, there are no names, and there is no evidence to prove that the teachers who retired between 1997 and 2003 have been paid,” the committee stated.
Additionally, the CS had earlier been summoned by Members of parliament to answer questions on implementing the new Excisable Goods Management System but failed to honour the summons.
He was expected to answer questions raised by minority leader, Opiyo Wandayi, who raised a red flag on a move by the government to renew the contract with a Swiss multi-national security printer.
Ndung’u was also put on the spot for failing to answer questions on why the East African Development Bank was remitting millions of shillings to a lawyer based in the United Kingdom under unclear circumstances.
In early May 2023, CS Ndung'u confirmed that Treasury released Ksh16.08 billion to 22,022 retired teachers after 20 years of delays. The amount disbursed covered the period between 1998 and 2003.
However, 23,487 retired teachers from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) applied for pensions. According to the CS, the remaining 1,465 would be paid at a later, yet to be disclosed, date.
Treasury was compelled to pay the teachers after the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the High Court all ruled in the favour of teachers.
The High Court in Nakuru, on October 28, 2008, ordered the pension funds to be released. The government's efforts to counter the ruling in subsequent appeals failed, with the Supreme Court upholding the verdict on December 9, 2015.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly expects Cabinet Secretaries to honour the summons, expected to happen once a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10:00 am and 12:30 pm.
Cabinet Secretaries are to appear before the committees to answer questions the lawmakers raise over operations in their dockets.