The strike by Mombasa County workers over pay has taken a new turn with revelations that junior workers earn as high as Sh120,000 a month forÂ unskilledÂ work.
The shocking disclosure follows claims that close to 1,000 people on the county governmentâ€™s Sh160 million payroll are fictitious, dead, retired or working overseas.
â€œWe have discovered that some sweepers earn as much as Sh120,000 a month and this has contributed to the huge wage bill,â€ county executive committee member for Finance Walid Khalid told The Standard.
But Mombasa County Government Workers Union branch secretary Rashid Muteti explained that some workers earned highly because of working overtime. â€œThere are workersÂ picked up by council vehicles at 2am to open council markets by 4am. They work overtime and they are paid highly and this is honest pay,â€ Muteti said. He said they were ready for vetting adding the recent head count was inconclusive. â€œWe urge the county government to issue a three-day notice for a head count or vetting stating the venue and what the workers should bring to the head counters,â€ he said.
Mr Muteti cast doubts on a report by Governor Hassan Ali Joho and Mr Khalid that 140 â€˜ghostâ€™ workers have been unearthed in a mini-audit conducted for the inspectorate and environment departments.
The trade unionist challenged the county executive to publish names of the alleged â€˜ghostâ€™ workers and probe them if they existed.
On Wednesday, Khalid said at least three of those in the payroll worked in the Middle East. He also said the county government was planning to pay salaries to its workers every 25th day of the month from September.
Muteti urged the county Executive to create more sources of revenue and streamline collection of levies to enable them manage the wage bill. He noted that the May and June salaries, for the striking 2,600 former council workers, are yet to be paid arguing this amounted to discrimination.
But former Mombasa Municipal Council town clerk Mr Tubman Otieno said if the audit indeed found there were â€œghostâ€ workers then the heads of the affected departments should be held liable.
Â –The Standard