Four months of toil, but no sign of pay for city workers

The City Hall in Nairobi.
Casual workers employed by Nairobi County Government are yet to be paid their wages for the past four months, it has emerged.

On Monday, the more 300 casuals staged protests outside City Hall demanding pay. Police had to lob teargas to disperse them.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has, however, blamed the Controller of Budget for delaying disbursements of funds.

In a statement yesterday, Sonko said the delay was occasioned by a hold-up of approval of the payments by Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo, who had asked for more information before releasing the funds.

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“As you may be aware, I have banned all on-source spending and all county money is banked and swept to the Central Bank. For any expenditure in Nairobi City, the Controller of Budget approval has to be obtained for CBK to release the funds,” he said.

The city boss, who is currently out of the country, further blamed MCAs for allegedly inciting workers to protest, saying there was a deliberate effort to create the impression that things were at a standstill at City Hall because he was away on official duty.

“On Friday last week, Finance Chief Halake Waqo informed me that the casuals would be paid by Monday, after successful deliberations with Ms Odhiambo, but unfortunately that was not the case. I believe the casual workers' demonstration could have been avoided by giving the correct position to them, namely, that their money was in the process of being released to their accounts,” stated Sonko.  

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He further warned the youth against being used by politicians, saying the county had gone out of its way to create job opportunities for the unemployed, especially in the informal settlements.

“Unfortunately, a number of these youth appear to be more interested in being used by politicians than serving Nairobi residents. Let me remind them that Nairobi has millions of unemployed youth. If they are not ready to work, we are more than happy to give their positions to others who would appreciate to get something to do,” he said.

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This comes just days after an MCA sought the Executive's transparency on the amount of money allocated for the payment of casual workers. He accused the Executive of inflating the actual number of casuals leading to the salary delays.

Mowlem ward rep Benson Mwangi sought to know the status of the audited list of payment for the last financial year, including signed document by each worker.

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Mike SonkoCity HallNairobi CountyWorkers