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Homa Bay Human Resource department closed over rent arrears

The Human Resource Management and Development department in Homa Bay County has been closed over rent arrears.

Staff who reported to work on Monday were told to wait for communication from their bosses to find out when they will get back to their offices to serve their colleagues from other departments.

Human resource management department is responsible for hiring and firing employees.

It also checks on the performers of staff, trains them on additional skills as well as appraises and promotes staff.

Officers there also control the county payroll and payment system while the head of the department approves leave applications.

Closure of the office means some of these activities cannot take place effectively.

A group of workers who reported to work on Monday said the proprietor of the building asked them to leave as he was demanding to be paid rent.

“We were asked to leave before the man locked the gate using a chain and a padlock. We called our boss to intervene but he had not arrived at the office by the time we were being locked out,” the worker said.

The office is located in a residential area a few meters from the office of Governor Gladys Wanga.

It was previously used as a family house before it was converted into an office.

Besides it is the public service board and other offices of the county government.

It is not clear how much the landlord is demanding from the devolved unit to open the gate but it is estimated to be in millions.

A worker at the department said their monthly rent is Sh 45,000 which should be paid quarterly based on the agreement they had with the landlord.

County Executive Member for Devolution and Governance Mercy Osewe said rent at the office has not been paid for over 30 months.

“The rent accumulated from the past administration. We have just inherited the burden that other people left before we came to office,” she said.

She said plans are underway to pay the bill for normal services to resume at the office.

She said county finance department will address the stalemate.

County Finance Executive Solomon Obiero said closure of the office is due to a dispute between the county government and the proprietor of the building.

Some staff from the office had moved to the county headquarters on Tuesday morning. Others who reported on Tuesday found the gate still closed and had to go back home and wait for directions from their seniors.

Part of the operations of the human resource department are being undertaken from the headquarters.

A staff from the department said they will soon move to the headquarters when Governor Wanga and other senior county officials will shift to a new office block being put up at the department of health.

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