The hearing of a case by 52,000 retired teachers seeking Sh43 billion pension arrears turned ugly as counsels engaged in blame game in a Nakuru court.
The counsels Mr Dominic Kimatta representing the retirees, Mr Kahiga Waitindi for the Director of Pensions and Calvins Anyuor (Teachers Service Commission (TSC) failed to agree on the way forward regarding the case.
The court had directed the parties to serve each other with the documents before an application seeking to have the Director of Pensions Shem Nyakutu approve the payment is heard.
Mr Kimata who claimed to be ready for the hearing insisted that it should proceed as per the court schedule but the counsels from the pensions office and the TSC opposed the same claiming they had not served with all the documents.
Mr Kimatta accused the two government offices of conspiring to drag the matter that has been in in court for years.
“The court orders were very clear that the matter shall proceed today, however it seems there is a scheme by the two government bodies to waste more time on the matter which has been pending in court for years,” said Mr Kimatta.
The TSC counsel Mr Anyuor on the other hand however, accused the retired teachers’ lawyer of using delay tactics when serving the court documents.
According to Mr Anyuor, TSC could not file its response since the additional document by Mr Kimatta was filed late.
“It will be unfair for the court to proceed with the matter without our responses yet it is the petitioner’s lawyer who is blocking the system by failing to serve documents on time,” said Mr Anyuor.
Mr Waitindi also claimed his employer was yet to be served with the orders issued by the court on August 1, requiring him to file vouchers of every retiree said to have been paid.
Justice Janet Mulwa was forced to intervene and cautioned the lawyers over their conduct on the matter which she said was of public importance.
She warned the parties against disobeying court orders saying that strict provisions will be followed in the expedition of the matter.
She also regretted that the director of pensions had failed to honour court orders.
“ This court will not entertain parties disobeying its orders. The counsels should be a little bit more serious with this case. Let them put their houses in order and do what is expected of them by their clients,” ruled Justice Mulwa.
The retired teachers returned to court accusing the pensions office of refusing to obey orders to pay them their dues.
The case was adjourned to November 7.