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Kitui workers threaten to sabotage revenue collection over July salary delay


Governor Charity Ngilu in a past event. Her administration has failed to pay county workers their July salary. PHOTO| FILE


As the Kitui county government July salary stalemate continues to bite, county workers have threatened to sabotage collection of revenue, a move that may cripple completely the nearly empty county collection basket.
Kenya County Government Union Workers members from the county on Wednesday vowed to destabilize the revenue collection unit if the county government won’t pay them the July salaries.
Addressing reporters at the Mwingi Town administration offices union officials led by their youth representative John Syandeli condemned the Ngilu-led county government for failing to pay the staff a fortnight after the end month.  
The county official while lauding the Mwingi branch members for boycotting work, demanded for the county government to move with speed and pay its workers to alleviate their suffering.

County workers from various departments shared the sentiments of their officials chanting “haki yetu” clarion call.

“We are collecting a lot of money for the county government but we are not getting our salaries if the governor will not pay us we will not collect any other money”, the angry workers threatened.

The workers castigated Governor Ngilu administration over what termed as failure to manage its labour force – a situation that has never been experienced in the county during the regime of the former governor Dr. Julius Malombe.

“During governor Malombe’s regime we used to receive our salaries in time and a lot of development would be seen. During the current regime we are not getting paid and at the same time there is no development in our county,” one of the unionists lamented.     

 “Where is our governor? We want to see her so that she can answer all our questions. If our money is being taken away by “majini” let her tell us”, another member charged.

The workers narrated that life was becoming unbearable in the county as majority of the county staffers are unable to pay their bills and meet their daily livelihood as result of delayed pay of wages.  "Our houses have been locked because we are unable to pay rent and our children are at a risk of lacking food while we have been working," complained a female worker.

On Tuesday Deputy Governor Dr Gideon Wathe had a hard time addressing the workers who held a peaceful demonstration to his office demanding for pay. In his response to the agitated workers the deputy county boss said he would write to the landlords and other stakeholders owed by workers to be patient as the county government tries to address the salary standoff.  He blamed the current delay on the Division of Revenue Bill,2019 impasse by the two houses of the Parliament.

However, salary standoff is not a new vocabulary in Kitui County as June salaries were paid in the last week of July even after the salaries having been factored in the last financial year (2018/2019) budget estimates.




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