Back­lash on Sang in Nandi as 1,000 work­ers are sus­pended

Youths ar­gue Ju­bilee promised to cre­ate jobs, not sack. Threaten to sup­port NASA

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties | Rift Valley - MATHEWS NDANYI @ndany­i_­math­ews

Nandi Gov­er­nor Stephen Sang is fac­ing a po­lit­i­cal back­lash over the sus­pen­sion of more than 1,000 work­ers in the county, mostly ca­su­als.

The sus­pen­sion was aimed at paving way for an au­dit of the staff.

But the move has an­gered youth lead­ers in the re­gion, who ar­gue that Ju­bilee promised to cre­ate more jobs, not sack those al­ready work­ing.

Some of the youth lead­ers are threat­en­ing to back NASA in the re­peat polls or­dered by the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court has given us an op­por­tu­nity to rec­tify the mis­takes we made on Au­gust 8 by vot­ing in some­one who would sack our sons all over. We will sup­port NASA, not be­cause we hate Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta, but be­cause we want Raila Odinga to stop the sack­ings,” youth leader Ben Kimu­tai said on Satur­day.

The sus­pen­sion of work­ers has been a sub­ject of wide dis­cus­sions by Nandi res­i­dents, es­pe­cially through so­cial me­dia fo­rums.

“When you sus­pend more than 1,000 work­ers, it’s the same as deny­ing more than 10,000 peo­ple their daily bread. That is painful,” Kimu­tai said.

An­other youth leader, Jane Mu­tai, said they re­gret vot­ing out former Gov­er­nor Cleophas La­gat.

She said La­gat was more hu­mane and had em­ployed many res­i­dents.

But Nandi Devel­op­ment Fo­rum mem­bers, led by Chris Ki­bet, said they fully sup­port Sang’s ac­tions to deal with graft.

“We urge our gov­er­nor to push on and stream­line the county oper­a­tions. The county was not set up for any par­tic­u­lar fam­ily, but for all of us and hence what we need are ser­vices and pro­grammes that will ben­e­fit us, not jobs for a few,” Ki­bet said.

Act­ing county sec­re­tary Fran­cis Sang said none of the work­ers has been sacked.

He said they have been sus­pended to al­low in­ves­ti­ga­tions into how they were hired and how they had been paid.

“We ob­vi­ously have a bloated work­force and res­i­dents should un­der­stand that the county has to con­duct all its func­tions within af­ford­able means,” Sang said.

He has ap­pointed a task force to in­ves­ti­gate how the ca­su­als were hired and how they can be en­gaged in fu­ture. The task force has 20 days to com­plete its work.

Mean­while, coun­ties in the North Rift have 3,000 ex­cess work­ers, who gob­ble up Sh1 bil­lion in pay­ments an­nu­ally. Gover­nors have re­solved to re­duce the work force and slash the bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion for salaries and wages.

Nandi and West Pokot have sus­pended 1,600 ca­sual work­ers to pave way for in­ves­ti­ga­tions into how they were hired.

Uasin Gishu has more than 500 ca­sual work­ers and Trans Nzoia has 800.

In West Pokot, Gov­er­nor John Lonyan­ga­puo last month sent 600 work­ers pack­ing and sent top of­fi­cers on com­pul­sory leave for a spe­cial fi­nan­cial and hu­man re­source au­dit.

Lonyan­ga­puo said he doesn’t want to in­herit a county gov­ern­ment “rot­ten with huge debts”. He also said they will con­duct a thor­ough au­dit of all con­trac­tors, bur­sary al­lo­ca­tions and the rev­enue col­lec­tion sys­tem.


Nandi Gov­er­nor Stephen Sang in Nandi Hills PAG Church on May 16, 2016

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.