Vihiga County Assembly has passed a motion to compel the County government to compensate more than 800 contract workers who had been sacked. During a special sitting, all the 33 MCAs present supported the motion which will ensure the contractual workers who were laid off are either reinstated or given a send off package.
While tabling the motion before the house, Lugaga-Wamuluma Ward MCA Victor Ejaika said that in as much as the Assembly supports an effective County government workforce, due procedure should’ve been followed while relieving the workers.
“The Assembly will not support a government that doesn’t respect the rule of law. It has to respect the rights of employees and on that note, I ask the Assembly to compel the County secretary to reinstate the sacked workers or give them a send-off package,” he pleaded.
While seconding the motion, leader of majority Wycliffe Masini questioned how the County could sack workers in the name of reducing the wage bill yet close to Kshs 1.3 billion was returned to the treasury in the last financial year.
“These people have really assisted in the maintenance of the hygiene on our markets. Since they were sacked the situation is unbearable. We were told that the intention of cutting down the number of employees was to reduce the wage bill yet the County was unable to spend Kshs 1.3 billion in the last financial year,” said Masini.
Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo took over a government that had more than 4000 employees and on several occasions, he had stressed the need for a leaner, more effective and efficient workforce.
Prior to the termination of the contracts, County Secretary (CS) Francis Ominde had issued a communication to all the staff conveying the decision by the cabinet to cut short terms of all contractual workers by June 30th 2018.
The move affected both contractual employees whose contracts had expired before the said date and those whose terms of employment were still active.
Following the passage of the motion, the County Secretary has been given 60 days to recall the workers or work out a send-off package.