Jun 15, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Workers face tough times as pay delays hit counties

Employees in Taita Taveta, Murang’a, Kisumu, Migori, Bomet, Kericho, Meru, and Makueni are having trouble paying their bills and some counties are now asking workers to stay home.

For the majority of counties that have paid, some governors have had to divert their budgets from other critical services as others take out overdrafts and loans.

The state treasury owes the 47 counties more than 66 billion Shillings, according to reports The Board of Governors reports that the Treasury Department has been idling.

In Taita Taveta County, around 3,000 workers remain to be paid for January and February. In an internal memo last week, District Secretary Liverson Mghendi announced a salary delay for March and April.

In Murang’a, some district workers are entering their fifth month without pay.

This follows the termination of the overdraft agreements between banks and the county government after three months of default on previous loans.

Two months unpaid

Worst hit are casual and lower-level workers. In an internal memo dated April 16, the district named late payments by the central government as the cause of their problems. While the memo asks for patience, it obliges the administration to settle some arrears with locally generated income by the end of April.

In Kisumu, workers have not received their full salary since the beginning of the year.

Rashid Ondu, branch secretary of the Kenyan government union in Kenya, said the county has not passed on legal deductions, bank loans and pensions, among other things. He said Governor Anyang ‘Nyong’o had promised to meet with them this week to deal with the crisis.

In Migori, workers remained unpaid for two months after banks withheld overdrafts, and cited delays in loan repayments.

Workers affected by the issue said banks withheld their salaries after the county finance department failed to process loan repayments due to a financial crisis.

Banks are now sending messages to affected workers warning that they will be listed with the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) for failing to repay their loans. District Secretary Christopher Rusana said the matter would be raised.

In Bomet and Kericho workers were not paid their salaries for February and March. A Bomet county government official said he was unable to pay rent and other basic needs.

Allowances frozen

In Makueni, station officials and congregation workers were not paid March salary. The situation is exacerbated by the freeze on their Sh29 million allowances by the Budgetary Control Bureau on the recommendation of Governor Kivutha Kibwana.

The financial problems are caused by delays in payments from the National Treasury . Prof. Kibwana said, “The county government is prioritizing paying salaries and paying contractors with the little money it receives from the Treasury,” he said.

In Tana River , casually The workers have been without pay for four months. The more than 200 casual workers reported financial difficulties, with dozens evicted for failure to pay house rent.

In Meru, District Secretary Rufus Miriti said they had relied on overdrafts to pay salaries for the past three months .

“The last time we got money from the Treasury Department was December. The situation is dire, “said Miriti.

In Nakuru, Narok, Laikipia and Nyandarua counties, sources said the governors turned to” other sources “and” innovative ways “to help their employees

“We have been looking for funds from other local sources of income to ensure our employees get paid on time despite the national government’s delays in releasing funds,” said Peter Ketyenya, the county’s finance officer Nakuru.

Reported by Lucy Mkanyika, Stephen Oduor, Mwangi Muiruri, David Muchui, Steve Njuguna, Pius Maundu, Victor Raballa, Ian Byron, Eric Matara, Alex Njeru, Jacob Walter and Vitalis Kimutai