Why Governor Nyong’o is walking a tight rope
SEE ALSO :No end in sight for Kanyakwar land rowWeeks after winning praises for demolishing the infamous mounds of garbage at Kachok dumpsite and even before he could celebrate the achievement, the governor was jolted by a workers’ strike after his finance officers failed to pay salaries for the third month, sparking uproar. He blamed the delayed pay on failure by the exchequer to release money to counties but the workers sought to know where other counties were getting the money to pay their employees. The strike by health workers including doctors, clinical officers, nurses, laboratory technicians and support staff continued yesterday as public health facilities that are normally busy, such as Kisumu County Referral Hospital remained paralysed. The workers now claim they were being intimidated to return to work yet their bank loan deductions had not been remitted for nearly five months. “We will remain outside until they pay or else we won’t be cowed by anyone,” said Chairman of the Nurses Union, Maurice Opetu.
SEE ALSO :MCAs debate Sh10b controversial budgetLong petition Pressure to salvage an ailing health sector; excessive spending, huge deficit on wage bill, endless court cases and poor collection of revenue are among issues shadowing Nyong’o’s tenure. Last month, Nyong’o suffered a setback after the County Assembly rejected his Sh10 billion budget and impeached his Finance Executive, Nerry Achar. The court however reinstated him, and at around the same time, MCAs staged a coup against Speaker Onyango Oloo and later approved the budget. Nyong’o’s administration however is putting a brave face in the wake of what is now turning into a crisis and has since ordered health workers to resume their work. Early this week, Health Executive Judith Attyang told the striking workers to report back to work saying their demands had been met.
SEE ALSO :Nyong'o: Cancer unit plan reviewedBut it is not just the health sector, has it has emerged that Nyong’o’s administration is also struggling to collect revenue despite automating its collection systems. Director of Communication Aloyce Ager however denied that there is a crisis, arguing that there are a number of achievements since they came to office. “I do not think we have a crisis. The report by the Controller of Budget was positive and also indicated that development had increased by 225 per cent,” he said. Yesterday, Nyong’o downplayed the crisis facing his government and instead reiterated his commitment in improving healthcare and infrastructure. He was speaking at Kombewa, where he and Kenya Medical Training College Chairman Philip Kaloki unveiled a new bus and four classrooms.
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