Kiambu county workers decry layoffs ‘via SMS’, call for Ruto’s intervention

Sunday, November 6th, 2022 11:55 | By
Hundreds of Kiambu county workers decry layoffs without notice
Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi. PHOTO/Courtesy

Hundreds of Kiambu county government casual workers who were laid off early last week have accused governor Kimani Wamatangi of subjecting them to psychological and financial trauma.

The workers have called upon President William Ruto to intervene and have them reinstated noting that their laying off is both inhumane and suspicious.

"The Kenya Kwanza administration talked of addressing unemployment and defending hustlers. We, therefore, wonder why we are being targeted and call upon the President to protect us," Agnes Wambui said. 

They say that they were laid off without notice and without pay yet they had worked for many years at the devolved unit terming the same as betrayal and insensitivity by their employers. 

"The untimely and unprecedented sacking through SMSs has exposed us to severe financial hardship, poverty, debt, alienation, stigma, increased social isolation, crime, and ill-health," John Mwangi who was a revenue collector stated.

They spoke to the media at Bibirioni in Limuru after condoling with the family of the late Charity Wangari, a procurement officer who allegedly died after developing depression soon after being sacked.

According to her mother Ann Wangui, the deceased started complaining of a severe headache soon after receiving her job termination message.

"Her situation deteriorated and I rushed her to Nazareth hospital and later Thogoto in Kikuyu before she was referred to the Kenyatta National Hospital. Doctors told me that her Blood Pressure (BP) had become hard to manage which led to her death," she said as she fought back tears.

The late Charity,38, will be buried on Tuesday. She left behind 4 children.

Her colleagues blamed her death on the county government noting that if at all she had been given a notice, she would have planned herself and hence wouldn't have died. 

"We are overwhelmed with stress, we are hurt, angry and depressed. We feel betrayed by the county government and some of us have mental health challenges," Francis Kamau noted.

In the past three weeks, close to 600 casual workers were sent home in what inside sources intimate is one of the county's austerity measures.

However, impeccable sources told People Daily Digital that the move is aimed at giving the new administration an opportunity to employ its own people as a reward for campaigning for it.

Most of the casuals have been there in successive governments. Some were employed by the first governor William Kabogo, others by Ferdinand Waititu and some by James Nyoro.

"It's suspiciously strange to learn that people are being employed even after hundreds were unceremoniously laid off. Interestingly, they were not given dismissal letters," a senior county officer stated.

The majority of those laid off were team leaders in the finance department such as licensing officers, procurement, accounts, revenue collectors and drivers. 

Our efforts to get comments from the governor, County Secretary Dr Martin Njogu, and Chief of Staff Gibson Mburu were futile with none of them responding to either our Whatsapp chats or our phone calls. 

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