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Joho freezes employment as county adopts austerity measures

COAST
By Benard Sanga | March 21st 2015

Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho, has frozen employment of workers saying the county has no money to pay more staff.

“I want to make it clear that my government will not hire anyone because we don’t have money to pay them. The county’s current wage bill is unattainable,” said Joho.

Joho said the county had a bloated workforce and its wage bill was more than the total allocation from the national government.

The freeze on employment has already been supported by local political leaders who say it is part of the county’s wider austerity measures to tackle its budget deficit and direct more resources to development projects.

The county has also unveiled austerity measures to reduce its recurrent expenditure and to seal corruption loopholes. Mombasa County has a workforce of 4,350 workers including the 2,550 it inherited from the defunct Mombasa Municipal Council and the national government.

Speaking during the launch of the Mombasa County Youth Fish farming project at the Central Girls School grounds in Mombasa yesterday, Joho said the county’s annual wage bill stands at Sh4 billion against the Sh.4.3 billion shareable allocation from national government.

The move has already received support from three members of parliament in the county saying that the county should check its huge wage bill.

To seal corruption loopholes, the county has also unveiled E-construction permit application system in the place of manual system.

Mombasa has reviewed its revenue projection from the Sh12 billion for 2014/2015 to Sh8 billion due to the drop in the revenue.

Civil society groups say the reduction of the workforce will ease the county’s wage bill burden and direct more money on development.

Last year, Ernst & Young forensic report showed the bulk of former council workers had only a primary school level of education and Muslim for Human Rights and other civil society groups demand that they should be sacked.

Though the county officials admit it was struggling to pay the bloated workforce, they have in the past, ruled out layoffs.

Mombasa women Representative Mishi Mboko, said it was clear the county had a bloated workforce inherited from the defunct Municipal Council.

“The county has no money for development and the governor is now forced to go to donors,” said Ms Mboko.

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, urged the unemployed youth to seek for jobs in the informal sector instead of sitting idle.

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