Nairobi — Kisumu Mayor Otieno Karan yesterday vowed to defy summons to appear before Local Government minister Karisa Maitha on Monday.
He said it was unprocedural for the minister to summon him through the Press.
The mayor said he would only appear before Maitha if he was served with a written summon as required by the law.
He said the minister had an opportunity to settle all the issues facing the council during his Kisumu visit on Tuesday, but had failed to do so.
Karan said the minister had created more confusion during his visit by telling the workers he had brought money to pay them their two months' salary.
He said it was also wrong for the minister to have advised the council to collect rates in advance up to the year 2005.
He said the statement amounted to inciting workers.
Karan accused the central government of discriminating against the council because of its political inclination.
He said both Nairobi and Mombasa Municipal councils were bailed out by the central government.
Speaking during a weekly television talk show, Maitha summoned both Karan and acting Town Clerk Margaret Jobita to his office on Monday.
He admitted promising two months' salary for the 1,600 striking workers but added that Karan had also assured him the council was able to raise their one-month pay.
A bitter Maitha said Karan was present when he made available Sh5 million from a Kisumu bank and an additional Sh3 million from his ministry.
Maitha said Karan and the chief officer had assured him the council could raise one-month salary for its workers and helped it source a further Sh2 million from Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company and another Sh1.5 million from a Mombasa company.
"Why should the mayor play politics with an issue that was discussed and explained at a meeting he attended?" Maitha posed.
The workers are demanding Sh70 million salary arrears for the last five months when they have been on a go-slow.