State pays Sh100m to ghost retirees: Audit

Ghost pensioners, some listed as retired colonial officers, have gobbled up close to Sh100 million in pension.

Of this amount, Auditor-General Edward Ouko (pictured) said the Consolidated Fund paid Sh58 million to some Asian and European officers whose identity documents could not be traced.

Mr Ouko made the revelations while tabling a report at the National Assembly last week.

The foreign officers retired immediately after independence and there was no proof that they were still alive to continue benefiting from the pension fund.

Another payment amounting to Sh27 million was made to deceased persons, reveals the report for 2017-18 financial year.

“Payments amounting to Sh27,378,721 were made to deceased persons. Of this amount, Sh12,580,674 relate to repeat payments to deceased persons’ accounts even after the money was returned by the receiving bank at the first instance,” reads the report.

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Ouko says it was questionable for the pension department to re-wire the payments. Ideally, the Fund was required to suspend the accounts upon return of the payments by the banks.

The taxpayers could have also lost another Sh20.7 million paid out to pensioners and their dependents, who could not be traced at their indicated areas of residence provided by the department.

This implies that the government could be spending taxpayer's money to pay ghost pensioners.

Treasury is also on the spot for Sh20.2 million payment made to the British government for colonial retirees who worked in Kenya but are now residing in the United Kingdom.

Ouko says the payments have not been supported by way of payroll numbers detailing out the beneficiaries. The report also questions military gratuity paid amounting to Sh4.6 billion.

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Auditor-General Edward OukoNational Assembly