Hope for ‘pyrethrum pensioners’

Pyrethrum Processing Company

Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya workers at the Nakuru factory in July 2017. The firm is to sell some of its assets to pay pension dues.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • PPCK boss says the firm has identified some assets that it plans to dispose of.
  • Pyrethrum processing firm retirees have been waiting for their dues for decades.

Pensioners at the financially troubled Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya (PPCK) in Nakuru City may soon start receiving their delayed pensions.

The board of the Nakuru-based company has approved the sale of 14 major assets worth millions of shillings to clear the pensioners’ dues.

More than 300 pensioners are owed more than Sh2 billion and have been waiting for their dues for more than a decade. At least 60 of them have so far died before being paid their dues.

“Valuers from the Ministry of Lands are on the grounds auditing some of the property that would be disposed [of] after the board approved their disposal,” said PPCK acting managing director Mary Ontiri .

Insiders say, the assets will be moved to the Retirement Benefits Authority and the Attorney-General who is the company’s receiver.

Past efforts by the government to sell the assets were resisted by previous regimes at PPCK, who argued, the assets were part of their income generating streams.

Suffering pensioners

“The house rents were generating Sh1.9 million, which was not enough to meet overhead costs,” a senior PPCK official said.

Ms Ontiri said that the Lands officials will give their report before the end of this month.

“The report will be presented to the full board, which will then submit it to the parent Ministry of Agriculture for scrutiny before it is endorsed by receiver and the RBA then tabled as a Cabinet memo for final approval,” Ms Ontiri said, expressing confidence that the process will be completed by early June.

Noting pensioners had “suffered for a long time,” the PPCK boss hoped the process would be speeded up.

PPCK has land assets spread across all the 18 pyrethrum growing counties in Kenya, some of which have been grabbed while others lie idle.

“The sale of the assets will save the pensioners from mental torture and anguish,” Mr Haron Tinga, a pensioner, said.