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Nairobi’s ‘Battle of the Choirs Judges’ yet to be paid… five months later

Adjudicators who presided over the inaugural edition of the Nairobi Battle of Choirs in Nairobi in April 2023 have publicly complained over their delayed allowances.

Their outcry comes five months after the competition which attracted the best Christian choirs in Nairobi.

Speaking to Nairobi News in a telephone interview, a section of the adjudicators accused the event organisers of not listening and responding to their pleas for payment.

According to Mr Daniel Madalanga, who was among the 12 judges, attempts to get their dues from the county have been unsuccessful.

Mr Madalanga, who is also the coordinator of the judges, said the organisers went back on their word as they had been assured that they would receive the money on the same day.

Mr Luke Khadambi, another judge, also shares his plight.

“We have not been paid yet the winners and the participants were paid on the same day,” Mr Khadambi said.

“If we did a shoddy job, have they complained that we did a shoddy job? No, so why then have they gone silent on us?”

They said that the Chief Finance Officer Asha Abdi informed them they will be paid, and that has been the song to their ears whenever they reach her.

“The Chief Officer has been telling us that money has been released, that we will receive our allowances the following day until now.”

They added that the Chief Officer in charge of Culture, Arts and Tourism Mr Clement Rapudo Sijenyi, better known as Clemo told them that their allowances were to be factored in supplementary budget, yet the county recently passed the 2022/2023 budget.

Nairobi News reached out to the Chief Executive Committee Member for Culture, Arts and Tourism Dr Anastasia Mutethya Nyalita for comment but she said that the Chief Officer was the one in position to answer the matter.

Mr Clemo’s phone calls went unanswered, and both the Finance CEC, and Finance CO did not respond to messages.

The winners of the competition, which was the Cathedral Youth Choir bagged a prize of Sh2 million, while PCEA Kahawa Farmers, who were the first-runners up bagged Sh1 million.

The third placed St Peter’s Clavers choir were awarded Sh500, 000.

During the competition, all the participants received Sh100, 000 as appreciation, and the judges were also supposed to receive the same amount.

Mr Khadambi said that each judge was to receive Sh100, 000 at the end of the competition, but the Governor promised to top up their allowances with Sh50,000 for good job done, bringing the total amount being demanded to Sh1.8 million since the judges were 12.

The county boss graced the choir festival on the opening and final day.

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