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Bomet MCAs stop attempt to fire 300 County employees

04 August 2015, 18:25 Kimagata Maridany

Nairobi - Bomet County Assembly has stopped the executive from retrenching nearly 300 former employees of defunct local authorities.

Through a motion tabled by Singorwet Ward Representative Joyce Korir, the assembly warned that it was against the law to ask legally employed staff who are on permanent and pensionable terms to reapply for their positions.

While moving the motion, Korir claimed that a section of operatives within the county executive were trying to create positions through the planned retrenchment of the workers.

Korir who is also the assembly's Deputy Speaker said it was irrational to retrench in the name of reducing wage bills while on one hand the executive was secretly employing people.

The employees of the former local government authority who included drivers, clerks and accountants were staring at job losses after they were issued with notice to re-apply their positions for consideration or face dismissal.

The motion by the Singorwet Ward MCA came as a relief to the employees after the County assembly adopted it unanimously bring the process to a halt.

Supporting the motion, MCAs took a swipe at the office county secretary Jonathan Soi whom they accused him of unlawfully attempting to dismiss the employees.

The MCAs said the office of the county secretary which issued the letters to the employees had bypass the public service board which is in charge of hiring and firing of county staff.

"The county governments Act provides that any public officer appointed by the public service commission before the coming into effect of the county government on secondment from national government are dully the employees of that county," he said.

Korir said the most of the employees are nearing their retirement terms and it would be improper to subject them to psychological torture by ordering them to reapply for their positions.

"Mr Speaker, we have always said the office of the county secretary is misadvising the executive and even overstepping its mandate by failing to work in tandem with the public service board and today we want to disapprove all its intents to sack the staff," said Korir.

MCAs Julius Korir (Kembu), Robert Langat (Kongasis) and Leonard Kirui, accused the executive of resorting to barbaric and orthodox modes of laying off the staff, saying that asking the employees to reapply for their positions fell short of dismissing them from service.

"We now know there some few people at the executive messing up with the employment process in this county and we want to ask that the county secretary be also investigated properly," said Kembu ward rep.

He said the county could be spending a lot of funds in payment of the staff hired through the back door hence  the move to cut back the employees on pretext to reduce cut on the wage bill.

Speaker Geoffrey Kipngetich ruled that the matter be suspended pending receipt of a statement by Korir (Kembu) who had sought a statement from the public service board on the total number of employees of the former local government authority both on permanent and casual terms including their current pay terms.

Kipngetich also said the same be stopped since a report sought by two residents from the county at the senate on who irregular employment process was yet to be released.

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