The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Narok Council Suspends 13 Workers Over Strike

Some 13 employees of the Narok County Council have been suspended for taking part in a three-week strike. Council chairman Joseph ole Nkadado said the workers contravened the terms and conditions of local authority officers.

"The workers absconded the duty without lawful permission. Therefore, we have discharged them of their duties which is contrary to the Public Service Regulations, 1984, Rule No.24," he said. Nkadado added that the workers displayed a serious gross misconduct as the council's employee by refusing to take lawful institutions.

"They incited the members of the staff and also mislead the public through media against their employer. They also participated in burning of effigies of senior council officers and practised paraphenelic activities to demean the characters of the officers in public, injuring their reputations," he said.

Nkadado was speaking at a full council meeting yesterday. The Ongata Naado councillor said the council owes the employees Sh9 million contrary to Sh60 million claimed by the workers union officials.

Nkadado said the ministry's data base report indicates that the council was among the first in Kenya to be cleared by statutory bodies for LATF disbursements after clearing all statutory debts and workers wages.

Kenya Local Government Workers Union, Narok chapter chairman Koitaat ole Mereu claimed the council failed to remit the workers statutory, co-operative and welfare deductions among other obligations amounting to Sh60million.

Yesterday, Nkadado said the arrear dispute arose following the council's request to the Local Government ministry to carry out a staff rationalisation in the council which resulted to promotion of more than 200 employees.

"The local politics and personal interests from current and former senior employees played a key role in inciting the union officials to go on strike," he said.

The chairman said the union has never raised any grievances before and was shocked to hear of the workers protest. A report released by the Kenya local government reform programme indicates that the strike was unjustified and lacked legal grounds since all avenues were not exhausted.

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