Kirinyaga County Assembly approves Ksh.40M to pay sacked workers

FILE PHOTO | Members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly after a past meeting with Senator Charles ...
FILE PHOTO | Members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly after a past meeting with Senator Charles Kibiru

The Kirinyaga County Assembly on Wednesday evening approved Ksh.40million in its supplementary budget to enable the Governor Anne Waiguru administration to pay sacked health workers.

346 casual labourers were sacked last month and reports later emerged that the move catalysed the dilapidated state of several health facilities in the county.

Governor Waiguru on her part blamed it on politicians who according to her are attempting to sabotage health operations in the county.

“There was sabotage and we are investigating further to know which politician is behind this fiasco. We shall wait for investigations to be completed but in the meantime the situation is much better now at Kerugoya Hospital,” said Waiguru.

“The report recommends how we can improve the status of the hospital and it also calls for disciplinary action against officers who colluded to paralyse operations at the hospital,” she added.

The casual health workers who were sacked on April 24 had demanded to be paid their four-month salary arrears but were sacked shortly after.

They apparently made the demands to County Secretary Joe Muriuki through a text message.

Mr. Muriuki responded in a statement saying their current wage bill was unsustainable and was a serious issue that the National Treasury had also raised.

He added that the Waiguru-led administration had been forced to institute immediate staff rationalisation measures.

Recruitment of new casual workers was then suspended and only essential labourers temporarily retained.

Workers from Kerugoya Referral Hospital, Kimbimbi, Kianyaga, Sagana and other health centres however remained adamant that they must be paid their dues first before they are let go.

In his statement the next day, the County Secretary assured them that those who were relieved from their duties would be paid up to the last day upon approval of the supplementary budget.

On Wednesday, the pathetic state of Kerugoya Referral Hospital prompted the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board to recommend that no more patients are admitted.

KMPDB had also warned that they would withdraw their doctors within 72 hours if the sacked workers are not reinstated.

Members of the Senate Health Committee are expected to visit the facility on Thursday.

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Story By Johnson Muriithi
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