Cash-strapped Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) has failed to remit employee retirement benefits amounting to Sh984.3 million, underlining the deepening cash flow crisis facing the State broadcaster and signaling economic pain for its employees.
The institution is struggling to honour the dues, according to a report for the year ended June 2020 submitted to lawmakers by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu.
“Management attributed the delay to remit the deduction to its inability to settle its obligations as and when they fall due,” reads the report.
“The corporation is exposed to the risk of incurring penalties and interest with the continued delay in remittance of the deductions.”
Remittance of statutory, loan, and members' deductions to Saccos and banks are mandatory employer obligations.
Ms Gathungu said in the report KBC had equally not remitted other unspecified statutory deductions amounting to Sh464.6 million, cooperative liabilities of Sh28.3 million and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) dues of Sh712.3 million.
“The statement of financial position reflects trade and other payables balance of Sh2.6 billion…Included in the balances are statutory and other deductions of Sh2.2 billion,” said Ms Gathungu.
Ex-KBC employees have in the recent past petitioned the broadcaster to pay them their outstanding benefits.
In 2019, unionisable staff for instance issued a notice to down their tools on grounds that salaries and pensions were not being paid to staff and retirees.
The Communication Workers Union (Cowu) said then it had put the broadcaster on notice as required by law due to its failure to release the payments.
General-Secretary Benson Okwaro said at the time that pensioners were the worst affected with KBC unable to pay them Sh982 million in their dues for the previous year.
“Retirees have not been paid over the past year. Five saccos are owed about Sh50 million while various banks are demanding Sh10 million from the State broadcaster,” he said.
The union said at the time that KBC had failed to remit statutory deductions to the Kenya Revenue Authority, The National Social Security Fund, co-operative unions as well as healthcare and insurance costs.
Ms Gathungu recently also put the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) in a spot for failing to remit employee and taxman dues amounting to Sh1.8 billion.