Nairobi News

General

Follow due process in recovering NSSF money

The national pensions fund has just sounded a warning to hundreds of homeowners in its Nairobi housing projects to clear their arrears or lose their houses.

They have until Saturday to pay the outstanding amounts — and if they fail to do so, the NSSF will repossess them.

The affected houses are in Kitisuru, Mountain View, Embakasi and Hazina estates with amounts of arrears ranging between Sh100,000 and Sh500,000.

It is not the first time the Fund as issued notices of repossession.

Just before Christmas, the Fund in an advertisement in local dailies notified homeowners that it would repossess its houses in various estates in Nairobi.

In that list were dozens of prominent Kenyans including two former managing trustees.

It remains unclear if the Fund went ahead and delivered its threat or whether it bent to the whims of the big shots who stood to lose out.

As the premier retirement fund for Kenyans, the NSSF is mandated to collect and invest workers’ contributions.

Sadly, the Fund’s history is full of scandals and ill-conceived investments. Indeed, some regrettable investments resulted in losses running into billions of shillings.

Aggressive policies

Granted, recent managers of the Fund have put in place aggressive policies aimed at reforming the NSSF to ensure past mistakes are not repeated and that workers enjoy their pensions.

But sadly, it is still dogged by controversies and scandals such as the Tassia project, which has hit headlines in recent weeks.

Whereas the Fund has every right to collect what is owed to workers, it is our hope that due process has been followed and that those who invested their savings to buy houses in the past have been accorded every opportunity to meet their obligations.

Anything short of this will open avenues for protracted court cases which will only eat into the workers’ pensions.

In moving to repossess the houses, the Fund must also remain alive to the legal provisions that cushion home defaulters. 

It is also high time that the Fund came up with policies that will see public investments safeguarded.

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