Nakuru County Lays Off 400 Casual Labourers

Kinuthia Mbugua

Nakuru county government has laid off over 400 casual labourers under unclear circumstances.

Enforcement and environment officers, who had worked at the defunct municipality for over ten years, were the most affected.

The Nakuru County Assembly chambers where the MCAs are set to resume house business next on Tuesday. /BEN NDONGA

The move incidentally comes a week after the county public service board hired 130 enforcement officers.

P.K. Sigei, the chief officer Public Service, gave the orders through a letter dated June 21.

“All sub-county administrators have been directed to disengage the services of the casuals,” the letter reads in part.

But the affected workers said this was despite the county assembly saying the recruitment of the new officers was illegal.

Some of the affected casuals said they will go to the Labour Relations Court to stop the sacking.

The group says they should have been the first to be considered for employment.

And in the letter, Sigei says that the budget for the fiscal year 2017/18 has not been approved.

He said that salaries for the casuals are not catered for in the estimates for the next financial year starting July 1.

“In order to avoid debts in form of casual wages, I am directing you to disengage any casual laborer working under you with effect from June 30, 2017.”

A source at the county headquarters said terminating the services of the casuals was illegal and inhumane.

“The county service board has hired 130 enforcement officers who are relatives of senior county officials and ignored those who have served as casuals for 15 years,” the source said.

Lakeview MCA Simon Wanyoike said the Labour Committee in the County Assembly had stopped the recruitment process.

“This exercise is meant to benefit some few individuals as the term of the current leadership comes to an end. We shall definitely intervene,” the MCA said.

Last week, County Secretary Joseph Motari confirmed the hiring had been going on and pointed an accusing finger at the public board.

He said that the board was an autonomous institution adding that neither him nor the governor had the powers to stop it from its work.

“The governor a couple of months back stopped the hiring of staff but we also have information that this exercise is going on,” he said.

He identified Naivasha as one of the sub-county that should have benefitted as it had over 30 casual workers who had worked for over 15 years.

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