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September 20, 2017

Nairobi county workers to strike Wednesday over delayed salaries

A file photo of striking Nairobi county workers awaiting an address by Governor Evans Kidero at the head office.
A file photo of striking Nairobi county workers awaiting an address by Governor Evans Kidero at the head office.

Operations at the Nairobi County government will be paralysed starting Wednesday should the more than 12,000 workers make good their threat and strike.

The workers have not received their April pay and their union-The Kenya County Government Workers Union- has given the city-county government until 5 pm Tuesday to make the payments or face mass action.

“We shall wait for your action to pay the salaries until Tuesday 16, May 2017. In the event that our salaries are not paid by Tuesday 5 pm, we shall parade our members at City Hall beginning Wednesday until the salaries are fully paid,” reads the notice signed by branch secretaries Boniface Waweru and Benson Oriaro.

The Governor Evans Kidero-led administration is in crisis after the Central Bank transferred Sh1.17 billion from its bank account -meant for salaries- to Kenya Revenue Authority to settle arrears.

On Saturday, Kidero asked the KRA to refund the money and admitted that he has been restraining the workers from going to the streets.

“They have been wanting to go to the streets but I have been restraining them. But if by Tuesday the money shall not have been refunded, then we will have no capacity to restrain them anymore,” he said.

The Governor lamented the move to divert the funds, saying it was against a Court Order that barred them from taking the funds.

Inside sources say that the Governor has been reaching out to the National Treasury to lend it money to pay the workers.

Two weeks ago, the CBK transferred money from the county’s recurrent account to the taxman to clear part of the more than Sh3 billion owed by the city-county.

The debt, mostly inherited from the now defunct Nairobi city Council, are statutory deductions that the council failed to remit.

The debt has been growing every month due to interest and penalties.

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