, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – Mombasa County Governor Ali Hassan Joho has sacked 1,059 County workers who are on strike over delayed two months’ salaries.
Joho has directed that the dismissed workers return county property and vacate houses immediately for absconding duties.
While addressing the media on Thursday in Mombasa, Joho said they had obtained warrants of arrest for the workers who littered the streets.
He said the county has advertised the positions of casual workers to immediately replace the sacked employees as a short term measure.
“We will hire youths to clean the town, this is a temporary measure while we rollout a sustainable recruitment program of new staff to serve Mombasa residents,” Joho said.
“There was no need (for the strike)… it was uncalled for to allow that situation where we make Mombasa residents susceptible to diseases because of your own personal interests. Mombasa residents did not wrong any of them (workers),” he said.
Reacting to this, the workers said they will not be intimidated insisting that they will continue to push for the salary arrears amounting to over Sh400 million.
They also claim the county government owes them an additional Sh171 million in arrears which they insist they must get.
There was drama outside the Mombasa County offices after the workers clashed with a group of women allegedly hired by Joho to counter their strike.
The women were chanting slogans in support of the governor to provoke the workers that almost generated into a fight before some workers intervened.
“We will not be cowed by insults and threats from our governor; we are ready to dialogue with the county government for the interest of Mombasa residents,” Margaret Ambasa who is the interim chairlady of the striking workers said.
They dismissed Joho’s order saying he has no powers to sack them since their strike was legal and their grievances were genuine.
Joho said remaining workers who have submitted their details to his office will be paid the salary arrears on Wednesday.
“We cannot allow a few workers to blackmail others for their own selfish interest. We will remain firm to ensure Mombasa residents receive services,” he stated.
The over 2,000 workers on Wednesday staged demonstrations in the coastal city, littering streets with garbage and later set ablaze a coffin outside the county offices at the Treasury Square .
The county government apparently inherited a Sh3 billion debt from the now defunct Mombasa Municipal Council.
The Nairobi County government had also faced similar concerns with workers boycotting work due to lack of payment.
The Nairobi County government also said that it had a financial crisis inherited from the former Nairobi City Council.