, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) has faulted Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero over his intended plan to lay off more than 5,000 workers in an attempt to streamline operations at City Hall.
Secretary General Francis Atwoli stated that the move should be shelved by the Governor in the interest of Kenyan workers.
Atwoli pointed out that the planned retrenchment will put a large number of people and their families out of work.
“5,000 is a lot of families. This number multiplied by a family of five is a lot of people. So we are telling Kidero to look for money elsewhere but not by sacking workers. We supported him when he was at Mumias Sugar Company and although his policies towards workers were not good, he gave us respect and maintained many,” he said.
He called upon the Governor to find other ways of raising revenue saying that counties have potential that if nurtured will spur development.
“There is a lot of money in these counties so people should not just sit down and say that since the Central Government is not giving us money, we should sack workers. The government must meet the issue of employment for the youth and spur economic growth,” he stated.
The Transition Authority has also accused Governors of abusing their powers in the appointment and dismissal of county workers, before the function is fully transferred to them.
Chairman of the authority Kinuthia Wamwangi said some governors have taken it upon themselves to appoint workers to the counties without consulting the authority, leading to overstaffing.
He said the Governors have no mandate to interfere in the recruitment of workers until counties have fully implemented the devolution process.
Kidero had told the Senate Committee on Devolution that he intends to lay off 5,048 out of its 11,048 workers in an exercise that will cost about Sh6 billion.
Kidero stated that an audit of the workforce brought up numerous irregularities which inflated the wage bill.
Kidero further indicated that the Central government owes City Hall about Sh47.45 billion, monies which he says if recovered will be used to honour a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) arrived at between the defunct Nairobi City Council and its workers.
Nairobi County will receive Sh9.8 billion from the devolution kitty this year, but the Governor said that Sh6.3 billion will go straight to paying salaries, leaving the County with inadequate funds for development.