Beneficiaries of Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu’s Kaa Sober programme are demanding to be paid Sh46 million.
The recovering alcoholics who clear bushes, open drainages and collect garbage said they have not been paid for 23 days.
The youths are paid Sh400 per day and the payments are often made on Wednesdays and Fridays.
“We don’t know what happened because our wages stopped,” Susan from Gitaru said.
She said there were no signs of payment despite promises by the area MCA to look into the matter.
The county hired 5,000 rehabilitated alcoholics to do casual jobs. The programme has been criticised by residents and leaders, saying the youths use the funds to drink even more.
An MCA who spoke on condition of anonymity asked Waititu to abolish the programme. He suggested the youths be absorbed into local polytechnics. He said some should be funded to start their own businesses.
“This program is tarnishing the governor’s image. It’s very unfortunate,” the MCA said.
Simon Njenga from Limuru East ward said he will quit the service once he gets paid.
Njenga asked Waititu and finance executive Mburu Kang’ethe to quickly pay their dues to enable them pay debts. Some youths have beenvuying food on credit.
“I owe a shop Sh3,450. My children would have starved if I didn’t borrow. The shopkeeper wants me to pay up,” Milicent from Bibirioni ward said.
Senator Kimani Wamatangi and woman representative Gathoni Wamuchomba have questioned the administration of the rehabilitation programme.
Wamuchomba said paying recoverng alcoholics was like empowering them to drink even more.
The youths are planning to hold protests to compel the county to pay them.
Residents have critcised the programme, saying the funds should be directed to priority areas like expansion of hospitals. But Waititu has told off his critics.