21 March 2013

Kenya: Mombasa Council Staff Call Off 10-Day Strike

Workers at the City Council of Mombasa yesterday returned to work after union officials called off their 10-day strike. The workers have been on strike since last week on Monday to demand their January and February salaries.

The council has began paying the workers after it received Sh400 million from the Local Authority Transfer Fund. "We will call off the strike because the council has paid our January salaries. Our members have received their pay," said Suleiman Mohamed, chairman of the Kenya Local Government Workers Union Mombasa branch.

Mohamed said workers who have accounts with Family, Cooperative and Equity banks have confirmed that they have received the pay. He however said the 2,000 workers who receive their pay through their Jitegemee Sacco accounts are yet to get theirs.

Council treasurer John Ngugi said the arrears amount to Sh150 million. "Right now we are dealing with the salaries first. We will deal with suppliers later," he told the Star on phone.

Meanwhile, the council has put residents and business owners in Mombasa on notice over payment of revenues. Town clerk Tubmun Otieno yesterday said the council will confiscate the property of those who will not have paid their 2013 rates and single business permits in three months time. Otieno said most of the traders and residents have outstanding debts dating back to last November.

He however could not quantify the amount the council is owed. "Single business permits cost about Sh6,000 per year. I do not understand why they have not been paying up," Otieno said.

Through a newspaper advert, Mombasa county secretary Muzne Abdullatif clarified that "payment of council revenues continues under the new county governments".

"In this regard, the public is reminded to pay rates and single business permits which are due for the year 2013, failure to which the same will attract three per cent compounded interest per month with effect from April 1, 2013," read the advert.

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