UNPAID SALARIES

Striking Embu workers block interns from office

Say salaries have been budgeted for, should not be affected by stalemate over division of revenue

In Summary

• They joined others in 20 counties and walked off the job owing to non-payment of July salaries.

• Motorists celebrated free parking and those transporting goods outside the county did not pay cess

Embu Finance chief officer Damiano Muthee is confronted by striking workers during their strike demanding for July salaries on August 13
WHERE'S OUR PAY?: Embu Finance chief officer Damiano Muthee is confronted by striking workers during their strike demanding for July salaries on August 13
Image: Reuben Githinji

Embu county workers on Tuesday denied interns access to county offices and jostled Finance chief officer Muthee Damiano to tell them where their salaries were.

The workers went on strike as the Governor Martin Wambora, his deputy David Kariuki, county secretary Johnson Nyaga and the recently constituted municipal board were expected to leave the country for Rwanda to benchmark on municipalities’ operations. 

It was not immediately established whether they had left for the tour but by press time, none of them was in office. 

The workers joined others in 20 counties who walked off the job owing to non-payment of their July salaries. They gathered at the governor’s offices where they chanted slogans against the county government.

They were led by their chairman Ephantus Mwaniki, treasurer Lewis Kathutwa and youth leader Mark Nyaga among others.

Motorists celebrated free parking and those transporting goods outside the county did not pay cess as the officers manning those areas joined the strike.

All departments apart from senior offices like the executives and chief officers boycotted work demanding their dues, with the workers vowing not to resume work until they are paid.

The workers denounced the benchmarking trip to Rwanda by the county’s managers saying such a trip would consume a large amount of money while salaries were unpaid. 

Interns reported for work around 8am and found the striking staff gathered outside the governor’s office. They were told to go home and resume after salaries were paid. 

“We want money! The salaries had been budgeted for thus we cannot blame the stalemate between the Senate and the National Assembly,” Embu County Government Workers Union secretary general Benson Njeru said.

 
 

Finance chief Damiano was forced to find a different route to his office as the workers pressed him for answers at the entrance.

Speaking to the press, the workers' representatives lamented that in addition to being denied July salaries, statutory deductions were also not being remitted by the government. 

Sick workers are forced to pay cash from their pockets since their National Hospital Insurance Fund policies are not operational owing to non-remittance of the funds.

Edited by R.Wamochie