“Nandi County Health workers have on Tuesday evening called off their strike after a prolonged closed door meeting and a return-to-work formula chaired by Nandi County deputy governor Dominic Biwott and Secretary Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Nandi Chapter, Mr Amos Ngetich. He said that their grievances had been addressed and all staff will resume back to duty starting today Wednesday 26th of August, ”All we wanted was a well written and signed document, all our grievances have been addressed and i therefore call off the strike” added Ngetich.”
What Really Happened?
The news had it that NHIF had not been remitted by County for some time as well as salaries that weren’t paid on time. Recently, as reported in the Daily Nation, Monday August 17th, 2015… “In Nandi, there are claims of irregular payments of Sh. 22 Million to county employees’ personal accounts. Top officials are also being investigated over the misappropriation of Sh. 30 Million in construction and fencing of 21 markets.”
This alleged loss of money may have contributed to the three reasons why Nandi County staff were not paid in July and August;-
1. County has spent more than it has received.
2. County Executive did not have any reserves. Any usual business has enough in its accounts for 2/3 months of its expenditure.
3. It might have relied upon Nairobi, and Nairobi sometimes pays late. Two facts to consider:
(a). Nandi County Chamber of Commerce offered its help to County Executive with raising revenue. County Executive ignored this offer. County income was much lower than expected for 2014-2015. [Source – Comments in the introduction to his Amended Report Budget made by the CEC Finance, Charles K . Muge]
(b). County was caught out by Nairobi paying some money very late in the financial year, which ends on 30th June, and County failed to organise to spend that money before 30th June, so that Nairobi clawed it back as unspent. (By the way, this has happened before – in July 2013, when 55,500,000 was returned to the Nairobi Exchequer. [Source – Auditor General’s Report for March – June 2013]
Giving a Helping Hand
Members of Nandi County Civil Society Network have been helping the abandoned patients at Kapsabet District Hospital. Over the last few days, visits from Pastor Beren from Agui and Kogo Caring Services, Monica Kosgei from Change Actors for Peace International and NCCSN Chairman, Shadrack Tarno – several times – have done emergency relief, food, clothes and above all, hope. One patient was helped to go home, but even so, sadly, one patient died during the strike. We are disturbed that no emergency arrangements were in place.
Is County not worried about the unpaid salaries; instead its priority is to push through its Budget, without any more difficult questions from curious residents?
Is County not worried about settling its debts, some owed since 2013, amounting to some 600 Million Shillings?