The teachers’ employer wants to block a court order to pay pension to more than 52,000 retired teachers.
The Teachers Service Commission was ordered by the High Court to pay Sh42 billion to the retirees in 2010, but it wants the Appeal Court to block that order.
The commission, through deputy solicitor-general Muthoni Kimani, said that paying the retirees that amount would cause financial distress.
Ms Kimani said the retired teachers’ allowances, salaries and pension arrears up to July 1, 2013 were more than Sh111.4 billion. This would increase the average national monthly pension to Sh40 billion.
The ex-teachers sued the commission in 2006 for pension from July 1997. The teachers won the case before Mr Justice David Maraga sitting in Nakuru.
The commission was served the order by the retirees’ lawyer, Mr Dominic Kimatta.
The TSC challenged the award in the Court of Appeal but three judges — Moijo ole Keiwua, Onyango Otieno and Joseph Nyamu — ruled that it should pay up.
By February 2010, the money had accrued interest of more than Sh42.1 billion, which has since grown to over Sh111.4 billion today.
The commission also wants the Court of Appeal to issue orders temporarily stopping contempt of court proceedings filed against the director of pensions, Ms Anne Mugo, and the commission’s secretary, Mr Gabriel Lengoboini.
Ms Kimani argued that the two did not refuse to comply with court orders but the judgment had presented many issues which needed consultations from all government departments which have a role in the national economy.
She also pleaded that if the money was paid, it would raise fresh labour unrest and unending litigation in public education.
Wednesday when the contempt of court case came up for hearing before the High Court in Nakuru, Mr Kimatta said the Supreme Court was in existence when the case was determined by the Court of Appeal. He accused the commission of blackmailing his clients.
He also questioned the stand taken by the commission three years after the judgment was delivered. Mr Kimatta noted that Parliament had been allocating money every financial year since 2010 to settle the court awards.
Mr Justice Anyara Amukule will give further directions on October 15.