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500 nurses on go-slow over salaries

By Patrick Beja | January 9th 2020
Kenya National Union of Nurses Mombasa branch Secretary, Peter Maroko addressing the press outside Coast Provincial General Hospital in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango/Standard]

Health workers in Mombasa County yesterday were on a go-slow over delayed December salaries.

The more than 500 nurses claimed most of them could no longer afford the fare to and from work, and also risked being thrown out of their houses by landlords.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) Mombasa branch secretary Peter Maroko (pictured) said they would push for release of their pay because most health workers were now unable to pay school fees for their children.

County Director of Communication Richard Chacha called for patience among the health workers, saying they would be paid soon.

“The salary payment has been delayed by just about two days and the health workers need to be cautious of the sensitive services they offer. They should be patient because efforts are being made to pay them as soon as possible,” Mr Chacha said.

But Mr Maroko dismissed the assurance, noting neighbouring counties Kwale and Kilifi had paid December salaries.

He said his team met Mombasa County Secretary Dennis Lewa on Tuesday and was informed the delay was as a result of delayed cash transfers from the national government.

He said they had been promised the salaries would be paid before January 15, but noted that some nurses were financially drained.

Maroko  blamed the national government for restricted release of funds to counties over pending bills, noting that it may hurt essential services, particularly in the health sector.

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