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Court declines to declare RBA boss unfit to hold public office

By Kamau Muthoni | March 18th 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Retirement Benefits Authority CEO Edward Odundo. Retirees from various institutions say he has failed to act on their complaints. [PHOTO/FILE/STANDARD]

Kenya: The High Court has dismissed a case filed by more than 2000 retirees seeking to have Retirement Benefits Authority Chief Executive Officer Edward Odundo declared unfit to hold public office.

High Court judge Mumbi Ngugi in her ruling said the retirees had not convinced the court that their rights had been violated by Mr Odundo.

The retirees from various institutions were unhappy with the conduct of the Retirement Benefits Authority’s chief executive officer.

The former employees of Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Barclays Bank of Kenya, Telkom Kenya, Postbank, Postal Corporation of Kenya, National Bank of Kenya, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Airports Authority, Kenya Commercial Bank and Standard Chartered Bank lamented that their pension benefits were being underpaid under the watch of Mr Odundo.

In the case, they claimed he had failed to take action even after complaints were placed before him and others before the retirement benefits appeals tribunal, which also directed him to look into the matter.

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They alleged that in all cases, RBA’s CEO either refused to act at all or took inordinately long periods of time to resolve even a single dispute or in some cases he referred the complaints back to the Trustees.

The court heard that many complaints have been left in abeyance for quite a long time, some waiting for a resolution since 2004. The 2,223 petitioners wanted to have the court declare Mr Odundo to be unfit to hold public office.

Constitutional violations

“While their complaints fall short of constitutional violations, the petitioners have recourse with other institutions such as the Commission on Administrative Justice and the Anti-Corruption Commission; which can inquire into the complaints regarding the performance and conduct of the respondent (Mr Odundo).

“The petitioners are at liberty to present their complaints against the respondent to these bodies with a view to their inquiring into and exercising their statutory mandates with respect to the conduct of public officers such as the respondent, should he be found to be in breach of the Leadership and Integrity Code,” Justice Ngugi ruled.

The Commission on Administrative Justice of Kenya, also known as The Office of the Ombudsman, has litigation and quasi-judicial functions and and ensuring compliance with leadership, integrity and ethics requirements.

RBA Court Retirement Benefits Authority
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