The Migori County has found itself on the limelight after failure to heed a court ruling on ousted county employees over unclear grounds and instead hired new employees to replace them.
Despite a court ruling in their favour after a series of battles with Migori County and County Public Service Board (PSB), the ousted Migori county employees are yet to be confirmed and reinstated after dismissal by the County Public Service Board.
On July 9, 2019 Kisumu Labour Court Presiding Judge Hon. Justice Mathews Nduma ruled that the ousted Migori County employees be employed on permanent and pensionable terms, on a case presented to the court by Kirui and Company Advocates on behalf of Mrs. Eveline Atieno Owuor and 38 others.
Mrs. Atieno and her other 38 colleagues claimed that they have been working for the county government since 2012 before devolution started as casual workers.
After their attempts to convince the county to employ them failed, they headed for the help from Kisumu Labour Court in an attempt to have them confirmed by the County government of Migori on a permanent and pensionable basis.
Citing unfair working conditions, delayed payments and underpayment as low as Shs 8,000 per individual, they had to run to the workers’ union to seek justice and finally their case was taken to the Labour court.
However, this did not go well with their employers and led to dismissal of one Mrs Eveline Atieno Owuor, whose name appeared on top of the list in the affidavit addressed to the County Public Service Board from the court.
Atieno said that she was instructed never to show her face in the office where she used to work in the county and the security was ordered not to allow her access to the county offices.
“When my name appeared on top of the list for people that had taken the case to the court, the County Service Board headed by Migori Chief Officer Mr. Samuel Ochieng dismissed me immediately and ordered the security not to let me in,” stated Eveline.
The chairman of the ousted group Mr. Francis Okoth Owiti said they have been working for the county as casuals for long and that is why they went to court to demand being absorbed in permanent and pensionable terms. Despite the court deciding their fate, they are yet to receive justice.
Owiti was dismayed that the county is aware of their situation and still employed fresh faces while they are still sidelined. He added that they have also not been paid and their statutory deductions have not been remitted and hence they cannot use their National Hospital Insurance Health covers in case of ailment.
“Kindly we are requesting Chief Justice Martha Koome to intervene and Central Organisation of Trade Union Secretary General Mr. Francis Atwoli to help us get the justice we deserve. The county is infringing our rights as we are hurting,” lamented Owiti.
Attempts to get clarifications from Chief Officer of Migori County Public Service Board Mr. Samuel Ochieng to address the complaints were thwarted as he stated he was not the employer.
Migori Senator Mr. Ochilo Ayako when addressing the same at his office in Migori town stated that he is aware of the ill treatment the County employees were receiving and acknowledged to having received information about the ousted employees. However, he urged them to draft a petition through his office to the Senate so that he can intervene.
He also said he was willing to give them an audience and urged them to visit him at his office to see how they can get justice and be compensated for their troubles.