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County staff union issues strike threat

Trouble is brewing between the county government and a workers’ union, following the suspension of 373 employees termed ghost workers.

Kenya County Government Workers Union has issued a seven-day strike notice to County Hall, threatening that the industrial action will be as brutal as the alleged unfair treatment of the staff.

The suspension was guided by malice because accusations against the employees have since been proven wrong, said the union.

They have threatened to take legal action against the county administration, whom they accused of arbitrary suspending them following anomalies in their identification documents.

An audit done on the now defunct Nairobi City Council by the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in 2012 pointed an accusing finger at its bloated workforce and incompetent leadership.

The report was severely discredited by the NCC after it emerged that it bore numerous anomalies concerning their names and ID numbers.

When the county government came on board, it adopted the report and dismissed the affected employees.

Accusations against some of the employees were that their ID numbers were being used to make remittances to the National Health Insurance Fund by other employers.

This was interpreted to mean they were gainfully employed elsewhere and kept the information away from County Hall.

Unknown to them

“It is surprising that a person can be accused of working for a company totally unknown to them,” said Mr Roba Duba, the union secretary general.

He said responses from the companies the employees were purported to work for indicated that they had rectified the anomalies.

Response letters to some employees by NHIF admitted there were errors in the said account entries and corrections had since been made.

“So why should people suffer even when NHIF has owned up to the mistakes?” asked Mr Duba.

He was speaking at the union’s headquarters where he was flanked by members of the Nairobi County Executive.