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January 19, 2019

[VIDEO] 6,000 medics suffering in 'Nasa counties', Panyako says, threatens legal action

Seth Panyako, Secretary General of Kenya National Union of Nurses, speaks to journalists in Kisumu County, February 22, 2018. /FAITH MATETE
Seth Panyako, Secretary General of Kenya National Union of Nurses, speaks to journalists in Kisumu County, February 22, 2018. /FAITH MATETE

The lack of government funds for counties seen as Nasa strongholds has affected more than 6,000 health workers.

Seth Panyako, Secretary General of Kenya National Union of Nurses, reported this on Thursday, citing Kisumu, Mombasa, Siaya , Kakamega and Trans Nzoia.

"This is unacceptable," he told reporters and asked Treasury CS Henry Rotich to tell Kenyans why these counties have not received their allocations.

"Residents of these counties are also Kenyans who pay taxes and are entitled to healthcare."

Panyako said that in Siaya and Trans Nzoia, health workers have not received their January salaries

Mombasa is not paying any statutory deductions, he said, adding those in Kakamega get loans from banks as they only get their net pay.

“We are not sure whether counties perceived to be Jubilee strongholds are experiencing the same but so far we have received complaints from these counties," he said in Kisumu.

The Secretary General said they will investigate from today and issue a statement next week.

Panyako said it isunfortunate that Treasury has not released funds to these counties, as this amounts to the crippling of activities by the national government.

“If the jubilee administration wants to appear to frustrate Nasa strongholds, it’s unfortunate because we have one President and one government. If they don’t release the money to the counties then they are not affecting the politicians but the health sector and common mwananchi."

He appealed for the money so counties can function.

Panyako added that if the government is bankrupt, the people should be told and national talks opened.

“If we have a government that is not sustainable, we can reduce the number counties to 10 or 15. We can’t substitute essential services to the Kenyan people when we cannot tell them why there is no money in counties.”

He noted the union will not sit back and watch as Kenyans miss health services and members go without pay.

"If the discrimination continues we will seek legal redress."

In October last year, West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said counties were broke and that most services had been crippled.

At the time, Governors said they were considering legal action against President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration for starving counties of operation funds.

More on this: Counties broke and idle, Treasury should give money - Lonyangapuo

Also read: Treasury fails to remit money to pay nurses

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