28 November 2012

Kenya: Kitui County Council Workers Strike, Want Treasurer Axed

Operations at the Kitui County Council offices were for the second day yesterday paralysed after workers staged a protest to demand the removal of treasurer Alfred Kitoo.

Kenya local Government Workers Union officials mobilized the about 100 employees into boycotting. Trouble started at the Council on Monday afternoon when the Council vice chairman Daniel Kaluku ordered the office of new clerk Micheal Kimwele be closed to deny him access.

After Kaluku did this, council workers ganged up and they in turn closed Kitoo's office saying it is he who should be removed not Kimwele.

At around 3pm union officials mobilised the workers to close their offices prematurely. The workers vowed to not resume duty until the Ministry of Local Government listens to their grievances and remove Kitoo from the council.

Kitui Kenya local Government Workers Union official Christine Kasiva blamed mismanagement of council funds on Kitoo.

"The council has not been servicing workers bank loans after making deductions from their salaries. It also owes the workers thousands of shillings in salary arrears and uniforms and the treasure is to blame," she said.

Since council offices were locked, efforts to reach both Kimwele and Kitoo for a comment were futile and they were also unavailable on phone.

Some civic leaders have been against Kimwele's stay since he was posted to the council last September as he was allegedly stingy with funds.

The councillors have pulled all stops to ensure that Kimwele is out of the council and one councillor is alleged to have threatened the clerk. The threat on Kimwele is a subject of investigation by Kitui CIDs.

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