Ex-teachers in strike threat over Sh17bn

Wednesday September 21 2011

By WANJIRU MACHARIA [email protected]

More than 50,000 retired teachers have issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to pay their dues amounting to Sh16.7 billion.

The retired teachers threatened to go on hunger-strike outside Treasury Building in Nairobi if the government failed to clear the debt.

In a statement read by the Retired Teachers 1997 Group chairman, Mr Joseph Njuguna Mwenja, the senior citizens insisted that if all payments were not made in the next 15 days, they would travel to Nairobi and camp outside the Treasury until the money was released.

“We are notifying the Attorney-General and the Finance minister that we will pitch camp at Treasury offices. We are ready to starve to death if the government does not give us the money that we have awaited for over a decade,” he said.

After a protracted court battle, the retired teachers were awarded unpaid salaries in arrears plus interest accrued over the past 14 years.

The Director of Pensions has since admitted owing the retired teachers Sh16.7 billion for the period up to 2003.

However, the former teachers’ claim that the High Court ruling was categorical that the period covered was between 1997 and 2007 thus the payment should be from 1997.

“Some of us are very old and sickly and require money to cater for our needs. It is unfortunate that a government, which is supposed to uphold the rule of law and grant what the court has awarded is ignoring the same,” he said.

Mr Mwenja added that the former teachers wanted the court award with costs and interests paid through their lawyer as they did not have faith in the TSC or the Director of Pensions.