Waiguru fails to attend Senate questioning on pension fund

On June 6, Anne Waiguru, the Governor of Kirinyaga County in Kenya, failed to appear before the Senate Committee on County Public Investments and Special Funds. The committee had summoned her to answer questions regarding a Ksh65.7 billion pension fund. The meeting, chaired by Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi, was consequently postponed due to Waiguru’s absence. In addition to Waiguru, Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u and Nancy Gathungu, the Controller of Budget, also failed to attend the hearing.

The committee members expressed concern that although money had been deducted from the salaries of various county employees for their pension, the funds had not been disbursed. They pointed out that Kirinyaga County, under Waiguru’s leadership, had allegedly failed to provide the Local Authorities Pensions Trust (LAPTRUST) and the Local Authorities Provident Fund (LAPFUND) with the required funds. Similar issues were reported in other counties, with Nairobi being cited as the most indebted.

The committee members argued that this situation left senior citizens in a precarious position, forcing them to seek alternative means to support themselves. Ali Roba, the secretary general of the Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU), had previously urged the committee to address the issue on May 29. Roba attributed the pension problems to the lack of effective regulation and enforcement since the devolution process began.

To rectify the situation, Roba proposed granting the National Treasury the authority to directly allocate funds to pension plans and utilizing the Office of the Controller of Budget to ensure the proper deduction of statutory contributions. He further advocated for amendments to the County Governments Act to hold officials accountable for the failure to remit pension funds.

Overall, the absence of Governor Waiguru and other key officials at the committee meeting, coupled with the unresolved pension fund issues in various counties, has raised concerns about the management and disbursement of pension funds and the financial well-being of retired public servants.


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