Councillors side with workers in Kenyan capital

July 12, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 12 – Two Nairobi Councillors have now joined the Local Government Workers Union (KLGWU) in demanding verification of an audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on ghost workers at City Hall.

Huruma Ward councillor Maina Njehia said on Monday that the audit did not consider departmental transfers, which led to the unfair dismissal of a number of staff.

“I am aware of a genuine case where this worker was in environment (department) before he was transferred to de-centralisation. So when they went to the environment department, they found he was not there,” he stated. “This was when he was counted as a ghost worker and yet that is not the case.”

The civic leader did not however agree that the KLGWU should have been involved in the audit exercise.

“The audit work was being carried out according to departments. If it was Human Resource, Social Services or even Planning.  The heads of department are the ones who know the people who are working under them,” Mr Njehia stated.

But Kasarani Ward Councillor John Njoroge supported the union arguing that it represents employees’ affairs.

“They should be involved at this stage to confirm that so and so is a worker at this station and it is confirmed whether he is working in that station by officers from the council,” Mr Njoroge stated.

He urged the union to take the Town Clerk to task over the manner in which City Hall workers were dismissed after the audit.

“They have not been given any letter to tell them they are not qualified in their position, or they are ghost workers… no communication from the council to the worker. They should approach the office of the Town Clerk to find out his position on the whole issue,” he said.

The workers union is contesting the audit report by PwC that claimed the Nairobi City Council (NCC) had more than 4,000 ghost workers on its payroll.

The Union’s Nairobi Staff Secretary Fetsus Ngari said KLGWU was not involved in the audit and the report failed to recognise that members of staff can be transferred from one department to another.

KLGWU Nairobi Branch Secretary Benson Olianga demanded that all sacked workers be reinstated, failure to which he threatened industrial action.

The report, which was released about a month ago, said City Hall has been paying salaries to 4,215 nonexistent employees. Some of those affected following the exercise have expressed dismay for being expunged from the payroll.

More than 500 Nairobi City Council employees lost their jobs following the completion of the staff audit by PwC.

According to Town Clerk Philip Kisia, people with genuine cases were given time to defend themselves but none turned up.

During the headcount, all City Council workers were required to produce their birth certificates, ID cards, NSSF and NHIF membership cards, latest pay slip, two passport size photographs, staff numbers, academic and professional certificates.


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