Officers demand pay for manning music festival

About 300 officers who provided security during the Kenya Music Festival at Dadan Kimathi University in Nyeri County have not been paid.

The officers drawn from Kenya Prisons Service, Administration Police and National Police Service were to earn Sh1,000 each for 10 days.

This meant each officer would take home Sh10,000 at the end of the festival.

The Kenya National Music Festival engaged the officers to secure the venue and the schools that accommodated participants.

Kenya National Music Festival treasurer John Mureithi confirmed that each officer was to earn Sh1,000 per day for 10 days.

Turned down

The Standard has learnt that groundskeepers and cleaners were to be paid Sh800 per day, while scouts Sh1,000.

On Thursday, the officers were called to Dedan Kimathi Resource Centre to collect their pay. However, they were shocked when they were informed they would only get Sh4,500 each. There was a standoff after the officers refused to take the money. 

They later grouped outside the main auditorium where they sought audience with the music festival officials over the matter.

Kenya National Music Festival chairman Peter Wanjohi had told The Standard that the officers would be paid on Saturday "after completing their work".

"They will get their money and each officer will sign against their name and the amount received. They will get the amount they are entitled to," he said on Thursday. However, this did not happen.

Wanjohi did not disclose the amount each officer was entitled to. However, Mureithi said they had budgeted for about 300 officers.

He said the list of officers presented for payment was more than they expected, and they were still figuring out how to accommodate the extra number.

An officer who has seen the list said it had increased to 720. 

This was confirmed by Mureithi, who said they had requested the Interior ministry for 300 officers only.

"However, the list that was received on the final day had over 700 officers," he said.

Fresh vetting

"We were summoned for a briefing before the fete. At that time, we had not reached 300 officers. However, yesterday, when we were expecting payment, we were told the list had swollen to over 700 officers," said an officer.

"More names have been added on the list so some people can pocket our allowances," the officers said.

On Saturday, the officers spent the entire day outside the office of County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia to push for their payment.

Shisia said he was assessing complaints by the officers. He said he is also vetting the list and will ensure those who deserve to be paid get their money.

"I am aware of that issue and we are cross-checking the list to establish the number of officers who had been engaged so they be paid," he said.

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