Demonstrations by casual workers at the Kajiado Referral Hospital entered day five on Monday with promises from the county’s Health and Finance CECs that they would get their pay from Tuesday.
The CECs attributed the delay in payment to a cash flow challenge caused by the national government.
The casual workers decried neglect by the county administration; at the heart of the impasse were arrears accrued over a period of five months.
The workers accused the leadership of using intimidation and sometimes issuing promises that have not been fulfilled.
They said their lives have become miserable, with many of them now unable to fend for their families.
“Hawa watu wametudanganya muda mrefu, na tukasema tumetosheka sasa tumefika mahalitutawaonyesha ata hiyo ofisi wamekalia, sisi ndio tumewaeka hapo,” said James Lekina, one of the workers.
With placards and chants of ‘haki yetu,’ the disgruntled workers occupied health offices and later held demos outside the facility and the governor’s office in a quest to have their cries heard.
“Miezi tano hatujalipwa pesa, tukidai hiyo pesa yetu ata ni kidogo na hatupewi. Tunaomba serikali yetu ya Kajiado mjitokee mtupee haki yetu,” said Magdalene Kapapa.
County Executive Committee (CEC) member in charge of Health Esther Somoire and her Finance counterpart Alais Kisota addressed the workers’ issues and attributed the salary delays to a cash flow challenge from the national government.
“The unpaid wages owed to casual workers were due to be paid starting tomorrow (Tuesday),” Ms. Somoire told the press on Monday.
The Finance CEC reiterated that the workers will be paid Tuesday but issued a caveat which will not augur well with the striking workers.
“In engagement of casuals, it is temporal and you’re paid based on the number of days that you have been engaged. So even for these ones who are protesting, for the days that they have not reported to duty, definitely they will not be paid,” stated Mr. Kisota.
The row over payment of delayed salaries has been a bone of contention between the workers and the county government, with a dozen of the workers arrested for protesting last Friday and released Saturday morning.
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