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City MCAs threaten street protests over delay in paying salaries

Thursday July 16 2020
city

Nairobi County Assembly Clerk Jacob Ngwele (left) and Speaker Beatrice Elachi. As the the battle between them for the control of the assembly’s finances rages, employees are yet to be paid their June salaries with MCAs threatening to stage a street protest. PHOTOS | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

Nairobi MCAs have threatened to take to the streets to protest delay in payment of their salary for the month of June.

The ward representatives, together with assembly staff, are yet to be paid their June salaries as the battle for the control of the assembly’s finances between Speaker Beatrice Elachi and Clerk Jacob Ngwele rages.

The 122 ward representatives, 150 assembly employees and over 300 ward staff receive a total of Sh60 million in salaries every month.

Minority Leader David Mberia confirmed that they are yet to get their June salaries with the wrangles about who is the certified signatory at the CBK delaying the payment approval process.

BANK SIGNATORIES ROW

“The issues surrounding the signatories to CBK are the ones delaying processing of salaries for members. There was a court order issued earlier this week stating who should be the signatories and we are hoping that it will be implemented so we can get paid,” said Mr Mberia.

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Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course MCA Mwangi Njihia also said they are yet to be paid as a result of the signatories tussle.

This is not the first time the MCAs and assembly staff have had their salaries delayed because of the row between the two leaders.

The MCAs and staff had their April and May salaries delayed as a result of a standoff between the Speaker and the clerk over the approval of the release of the funds.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has now been dragged into the matter with some MCAs accusing the bank of refusing to effect a court order reinstating two assembly officers as signatories to the assembly’s exchequer accounts.

INTERIM ORDERS

On Tuesday, Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge Hellen Wasilwa issued interim orders directing CBK to reinstate the assembly’s Principal Accountant Sammy Kalundu Ndana and Senior Finance Officer Paul Kimani Wainaina as signatories to Nairobi County Assembly’s exchequer accounts.

However, CBK is yet to implement the court orders, drawing the ire of the MCAs who are now threatening to demonstrate outside the bank to have the orders effected.

Problems of delayed salaries started when the executive restored Mr Ngwele after his removal in December 2019.

This followed an advisory by the Solicitor General saying Mr Ngwele is the substantive clerk of the assembly as per a ruling by the Labour court, a move that rubbed the Speaker the wrong way.

The assembly’s board, chaired by Ms Elachi, has always maintained that Mr Ngwele is a “stranger” after a report was adopted by the assembly revoking his name as the holder of the clerk’s office despite the court order.

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