Wrangles still rife in railway pension scheme

Tension, mistrust and wrangles continue to mar the multibillion Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefit Scheme as it holds an annual general meeting today.

The meeting is expected to have a heated exchange between the largely divided pensioners and those in charge of the fund whom they now want removed.

A letter written to the retirement Benefits Authority chief executive, Dr Edward Odundo, sought his intervention in removing both Corporate Trustees and the chief executive officer in the latest twist on the controversial scheme.

The letter, also copied to the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission, and the Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua, among others, accuses the corporate Trustee of denying them access to information and disposing of their prime property at throwaway prices.

The Secretary-General of Kenya Railways Pensioners Association (one of the factions), Mr Robert Azaria, quoted in the petition a report by audit firm Deloitte, citing such undervalued disposals by the administrators.

“Most of the scheme’s investment properties totalling Sh17.9 billion are carried at forced sale value and were last revalued on 30 June 2011,” Deloitte wrote in their 2015 report.

Corporate and Pension Trust Services Ltd Executive Director Anthony Kilavi, however, dismissed the allegations, saying the property disposals had been done at market rates and that his company was awarded the tender through a competitive bidding, contrary to what the pensioners are claiming.

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