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Governor Mandago calls for lower civil servants’ retirement age

The National Assembly should consider revising the retirement age of civil servants from 60 years to the previous 55 years to create employment opportunities for the youth, Uasin Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago has said.

Governor Mandago said the decision to increase the retirement age from 55 to 60 years in 2009 was a mistake and parliament should amend the retirement law to revert it back to 55 years.

“If it is possible to reduce the retirement age to 50 years, it will be better since the gap created by the retirements will be an opportunity to absorb the large number of unemployed youths, said Governor Mandago.

The county boss raised concern over high unemployment rate among the youths in the country.

CIVIL SERVICE

Speaking at Ngenyilel Dispensary in Turbo sub-county on Thursday, Governor Mandago said it was unfortunate that those born today and wish to work in the civil service will have to wait until they are 38 years.

The government increased the retirement age to 60 in 2009 to ease a strain on pension bills that was creating a crisis with over 20, 000 civil servants and teachers at the time failing to get their pension after retirement.

In 2014 the Sarah Serem led Salaries and Remuneration Commission released a report proposing reduction of retirement age by five years as one possible way of managing the runaway wage bill.

WAGE BILL

The suggestion was however opposed by the Union of Kenya Civil Servants calling on the government to look for alternative ways of controlling the wage bill.

The government also called on parliament to amend the social protection law to allow cash transfer fund for the elderly to be given to all those elders who have attained the age of 65 without restrictions.

Currently, he observed, a number of the elderly in Uasin Gishu County are left out of the scheme because of restrictive selection criteria.

“This is discrimination because you find that some of the elderly people may have educated their children, but the same children have left them to live in abject poverty as they move to urban areas to better their lives,” explained Mr Mandago.

ALLEGATIONS

At the same time, Governor Mandago defended his government over allegations that Sh4 billion could not be accounted for.

“There is no amount of county funds that is lost, summons by the auditor general are normal since it is their work to seek explanation on how public funds are spend, and  when they ask questions, it is not that any money has been lost”, explained Mandago.

He claimed the allegations were being peddled by his political competitors to tarnish his name.

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