Backlash on Sang in Nandi as 1,000 workers are suspended
Youths argue Jubilee promised to create jobs, not sack. Threaten to support NASA
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