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Economy

Employees in 20 counties set for strike Wednesday in salary row

Health workers
Health workers at the Nakuru Provincial General Hospital during a strike in 2015. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

At least 20 counties risk total paralysis in operations on Wednesday as employees set to down their tools over delays in payment of their July salary.

Workers in the counties have vowed to disrupt normal operations by engaging in pay-parade and go-slow in the devolved units until their dues are fully paid.

Counties are short of cash following delays in approving two Bills that provide for sharing of national revenues between the devolved units and the central government as well as the proposed law that guides revenue share among the 47 counties.

“We are warning all the counties which have not paid their workers by the end of Tuesday that they shall face total paralysis starting Wednesday morning,” said Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) general secretary Roba Duba.

Counties to be affected include Kitui, Machakos, Embu, Meru, Bungoma, Nakuru, Elgeyo Marakwet, Tharaka Nithi, Isiolo and Marsabit.

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Others are West Pokot, Kisumu, Baringo, Samburu, Kericho, Homa Bay, Nyeri, Murang’a, Laikipia and Taita Taveta.

“These counties have not paid and have not shown any indication of an intention to pay.

“They are rogue counties and from Wednesday, there is going to be total paralysis of services rendered by our members there,” he said.

The internal revenues of the counties are not adequate to pay salaries, making them rely on the national government allocations.

The Division of Revenue Bill — which guides sharing of national revenues between the devolved units and the central government — has stalled for disagreements on allocations between the National Assembly and the Senate.

By Sunday, only 23 counties had paid the July salaries.

The counties that have paid their workers include Nairobi, Migori, Makueni, Trans Nzoia, Kakamega, Kisii, Wajir, Nyamira, Nyandarua, Lamu, Kwale and Tana River. Others are Garissa, Mandera, Kajiado, Turkana, Nandi, Bomet, Vihiga, Narok, Mombasa, Siaya and Kiambu.

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