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City MCAs threaten to hold street protests over delayed salaries

Nairobi MCAs have threatened to take to the streets to protest delay in payment of their salary for the month of June.

The ward representatives together with assembly staff are yet to be paid last month’s salary as the battle for the control of the assembly’s finances between Speaker Beatrice Elachi and Clerk Jacob Ngwele rages.

The 122 ward representatives, 150 assembly employees and more than 300 ward staff are owed Sh60 million as salary package every month.

Minority Leader David Mberia confirmed that they are yet to get their June salary with the wrangles surrounding who was the certified signatory at the CBK delaying the payment approval process.

“The issues surrounding the signatories to CBK are the ones delaying the processing of salaries for members. There was a court order issued earlier this week stating who should be the signatories and we are hoping that it will be implemented so we can get paid,” said Mr Mberia.

Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course MCA Mwangi Njihia also said they are yet to be paid as a result of the tussle surrounding who should be the signatory to the assembly account.

This is not the first time the MCAs and assembly staff have had their salaries delayed because of the row between the two leaders.

The MCAs and staff had their two months (April and May) salaries delayed as a result of a standoff between the speaker and the clerk over the approval of the release of the funds.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has now been dragged into the matter with some MCAs accusing the Bank of refusing to effect a court order reinstating two assembly officers as signatories to the assembly’s exchequer accounts.

On Tuesday, Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Lady Justice Hellen Wasilwa issued interim orders directing CBK to reinstate assembly’s Principal Accountant Sammy Kalundu Ndana and senior finance officer Paul Kimani Wainaina as signatories to Nairobi County Assembly exchequer accounts.

The order also directs that the two be authorisers of three accounts; 1000286587, 1000193538 and 1000286598 held with the CBK through automated Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS) and Internet Banking( IB) and make payments out of monies already voted for but unexpended in FY 2019-2020.

However, CBK is yet to implement the court orders drawing the ire of the MCAs who are now threatening to demonstrate outside CBK to have the orders effected.

Problems of delayed salaries started when the Executive restored Mr Ngwele as the assembly’s Integrated Financial Management and Information System (Ifmis) and as the signatory to the assembly’s accounts at CBK in April after his removal in December last year.

This followed an advisory by the Solicitor General saying Mr Ngwele is the substantive clerk of the assembly as per a ruling by Employment and Labour relations court, a move that rubbed the speaker the wrong way.

The assembly’s Board, chaired by Ms Elachi, has always maintained that Mr Ngwele is a “stranger” in the assembly after a report was adopted by the assembly revoking his name as the holder of the clerk’s office despite the court order.

And last month, the Board advertised a vacancy in the office of the clerk noting that the assembly has never recruited a substantive clerk since inception in 2013.