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Joy as County govt absorbs 639 workers of defunct municipal councils

10 March 2016, 12:59 Philomenah Chebet

Bungoma - The Bungoma County government has absorbed 639 workers from the defunct seven local authorities in the County to the delight of the Kenya Government Workers Union officials who who were keen on the deal.

They were previously employees of Bungoma County, Mt Elgon County, Bungoma Municipal, Webuye Municipal, Kimilili Municipal, Sirisia and Malakisi Town councils before the advent of devolution.

Addressing the workers during a ceremony at Kenya Industrial Estate grounds in Bungoma Town, Governor Kenneth Lusaka asked them to widen the revenue collection base to sustain the County government's high wage bill.

During the first quarter of this financial year, the County government spent KES 602.61 million on personnel emoluments plus another KES 326.23 million on operations and maintenance.

Expenditure on personnel emoluments accounted for for 48.4 per cent and has increased significantly when compared to a similar period during the 2014/15 financial year when expenditure stood at KES 435.61 million, a recurrent budget expenditure analysis indicates.

In the same period, Bungoma received KES 614.06 million from the National Government as direct transfer to the CRF account and raised KES 102 million from local sources. The local revenue raised in the period of KES 102.61 million was an increase from KES 75.81 million during the same period in the previous financial year.

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Lusaka said the County government was also in the process of employing the 120 workers who have worked for between seven and eight years on contract basis. The current salaries and work stations of the employees absorbed into the County government employ will remain the same.

He told the workers that their contribution was critical to success of the County and asked them to dedicate their public service efforts to realize great achievements for the County.

'‘The best performers will be rewarded with promotions. We will also have a get together party at the end of the year for bonding purposes," the Governor promised.

Union officials present included national chair Mary Murongoro, Western Kenya regional secretary and Bungoma County custodian Florian Nganga, county chair Evans Manyilila treasurer Wenslaus Puria, women representative Beatrice Chebet and assistant secretary Oscar Sifuma.

The Governor challenged the workers to take advantage of the proximity of Kibabii University to pursue higher education because out of the whole lot only two of have Masters degrees while 54 have no tertiary education qualifications.

"The County government will also organize seminars and workshops for the purpose of exposure and capacity building."

Deputy Governor Hillary Chongwony said that it has been the dream of the County to bring the workers on board.

“I beseech you to get back and work like you have never worked before. Let us deliver quick and effective services to the public,” Chongwony implored the workers.

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