Sacked Kajiado Nol-Turesh water company workers will be paid their retirement benefits; company’s acting managing director Gideon Ketente announced on Thursday.
Sacked worker’s chairman Bresson Rakiro reads a statement in Sultan Hamud town on October 18.
Ketente said the decision to pay the 48 members of staff was reached when Water CS, Simon Chelugui met Kajiado and Makueni governors in Nairobi on Tuesday.
“This is a fact, but I am unable give you the date of payment because there is a team that has been picked by the minister to look in to the matter,” said Ketente at his office in Sultan Hamud town.
He was reacting to allegations raised by the workers earlier in the day that they had been condemned and sacked without being heard when they went on strike in May to demand their delayed salaries.
The chairman of the sacked employees, Bresson Rakiro, claimed they were sent home against employment procedures governing government workers.
[VIDEO] Sacked Nol-Turesh Staff To be Paid Their Benefits, Says Acting MD Ketente
Rakiro, who had supporting documents to back his claims, said in a written statement at the time they were sacked the company had enough revenue to support their wages and operations.
“The company had failed to pay our wages, remit statutory deductions to our bank accounts and never paid kiosk operators and casuals for close to five months,” said Rakiro.
He explained that their picketing was as a result of the company’s failure to pay them while they were aware the water body had enough resources.
The workers further claimed they were not served with sacking letters but that the company wrote a general one that was not signed and pinned on the staff notice board.
“As we speak now, we are being threatened by the new management to vacate our company houses. They have disconnected water and electricity and yet we have nowhere to go,” they claimed in the statement.
In response Ketente said the power was disconnected by the authority concerned because the sacked workers were not paying their bills.
“As for the water, we disconnected because we cannot supply free water,” Ketente explained.
The acting MD however dismissed claims alluded by the workers to the effect he is using a lot of fresh water from the pipeline that passes through Imbirrikani area.
“This acting MD had a water account, A/C 0900602440 under his name whose water is used for irrigation, but he has since changed the name, illegally without following laid procedure, to Evelyn Maison, which is his wife’s,” said Rakiro.
Ketente did not deny but said he has a right to access water like any Kenyan. “What is not true is their claim that I use water to irrigate my farm. I live in Athi River and the water at home is being used by my parents,” added he.
The acting MD said it is true treated Nol-Turesh water is being used by farmers for irrigation, and added that unless the farmers are supplied with raw water for irrigation, nothing can stop the masses from stealing the water.
He said the initial pipeline company had agreement with the farmers to be supplied with free water for drinking as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Ketente said Nol-Turesh Water Company collects more than Sh5 million on average each month from water consumers while it spends Sh4.8 million for overheads.