Casuals who lost their jobs get a reprieve

Casual labourers who lost their jobs following the suspension of the Ugatuzi na Kazi programme in Garissa County on Monday got a reprieve after area governor, Ali Korane successfully negotiated with Youth Ministry to engage them.

Speaking after witnessing the swearing in of six County Executive Members (CEC) in Garissa town, Korane said that each of the five constituencies except Township would employ 900 people aged between 18 and 35.

The constituencies to benefit are Ijara, Balambala, Lagdera, Dadaab and Fafi.

The Ugatuzi na Kazi programme was initiated by former governor Nathif Jama and employed 1, 530 casual unskilled workers, majority of them from poor background.

Korane suspended the programme alleging that it lacked the legal frame to formalise its operations and had no budgetary allocations to sustain it.

The governor said his office in consultation with the County Executive would initiate a community service programme with proper legal framework and seek endorsement from the County Assembly.

His action led to demonstrations from agitated casual labourers who accused the governor of illegally ending the programme and sacking them without issuing notices as required by law.

Korane defended his action saying he was not ready to take blame because he relied on a report by the Public Service Board (PSB) that distanced itself from the programme.

On members of staff who lost their jobs because they were not employed through PSB, Korane said there was ‘little he could do at this point in time’.

He said EACC and other investigative agencies had picked the case and ‘we are awaiting their report’.

The board identified four categories that they recognised and believed were employed through the laid down procedures. This is the staff we shall work with for now and when need arises, we shall increase it through the board, Korane said.

Among the staff that PSB picked, included those from the defunct Garissa county and municipal councils, Ijara county council, devolved departments from the national government in the Ministries of Water, Health, Public Works among other and those employed through delegated authority.

Source: Kenya News Agency