Bungoma Municipal Council workers threaten to down tools next week over salary arrears.
Written by Protus Simiyu
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Over 300 workers at the Bungoma Municipality have threatened to down their tools next week over salary arrears amounting to over Sh. 6 Million.
The workers argue that the Chief Executive Officers at the Municipality are not honoring the agreement reached in March this year regarding staff salary payments.
“We agreed that salaries shall be paid inconformity with the employment act and conditions of service where staff were to be paid by 30th day of every month but this is not the case,” Evans Manyilila chairman of the workers union said.
Manyilila said the workers are yet to receive salary for the month of June this year while pointing out that the recent minutes of the meeting between them and the council management observed that this could not be the case now since the council had been advanced with bank overdraft of SH. 5m.
“With this money the town clerk Mr. Otieno Owande had promised the union never the have salary problems anymore,” the chairman charged.
The workers wondered why the council is reluctant to pay them salaries while it’s on record that besides the Sh. 5M the council received recently L.A.T.F money Sh. 12M.
Mr. Manyilila disclosed that it is on record that last month only the council collected about Sh. 7M saying as a union they don’t observe any reason why the council should delay their payment.
The workers told West FM that they are now under threat from bank managers over loan repayments. “The council deducts money from our salaries but we are surprised to learn that the money is not remitted to respective banks for loan re-payments,” Manyilila wondered.
As a union we discussed this case with the management but so far the issue has not been given a preference yet the banks are pursuing workers in recovering their money from private properties.
Mr. Manyilila said as workers they will not accept their private poverty to be taken by banks while asserting that the workers will go on strike if the issue will not be solved amicably.
They said there is a serious of corrupt dealings at the municipality being executed by the chief officers in collaboration with junior staff at the council.
It is a pity because even some wayward councilors who should protect public property are colluding in the criminal engagements at the council in a move to enrich themselves at the expense of quality service to the residents of Bungoma town.
Further, the workers have appealed to the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission to probe the Chief Executive Officers at the Municipality for alleged misappropriation of funds.
The call for workers strike comes at a time when a civic leader and two junior staff are being accused for allegedly selling the Kitinda Diary plot to a private even after the government announced releasing Sh. 100M to revive the project.
Last week, Bungoma Municipality Mayor Patrick Sulechi disowned the councils 2012-2013 budget calling for the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission to probe the institution.