[VIDEO] Nairobi water company workers strike over board’s decision to fire directors

The Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company workers have gone on strike demanding the renewal of the director’s contract.

The board, chaired by Raphael Nzomo, has declined to renew the contracts of managing director Philipp Gichuki and three other directors.

Others are; Johnson Randu (Finance), Stephen Mbugua (Commercial) and Rosemary Kijana (Human Resource).

The workers who are members of the Kenya County Government workers union said they are reading malice on the board’s decision.

They vowed to boycott work until the directors’ contracts are renewed.

“This same board which was planning to sell this company has now terminated contracts of four performing directors. They (board members) came here under very tight security, went to the board room and announced the decision,” branch Secretary Jebet Matilda said.

“But we are saying we will not work, we will picket until these directors are brought back,” she said.

Gichuki faulted the board’s decision saying he should have served for five years until 2019. 

“The board did not follow Human Resource Manual which states that I should serve for five years. I joined the company in 2014 and therefore my term was supposed to expire in 2019. So they have shortened my term by two years,” he said.

The workers asked the new county leadership under governor Mike Sonko to intervene.

“We are calling on the new county administration to intervene. We cannot continue this way,” Matilda said on the phone.

In a letter (seen by the Star) to MD Gichuki, Nzomo indicated that the board members reached a decision not to renew his contract as he had served his full term as permitted by law.

“I wish to inform that the board, after deliberation, declined to grant your request as you have already served the full tenure permitted in law. You are, therefore, to formally separate with the company up on expiry of your contract on January 18, 2018,” reads the letter.“In the meantime, and to facilitate a smooth transition, you are hereby asked to proceed to terminal leave,” it reads.

Read; Plan to sell Nairobi Water Company was mooted at Maji House, says MD Gichuki

Deputy Governor-elect Polycarp Igathe, who was scheduled to visit the company’s offices in Industrial Area on Friday morning, called off the visit, saying that goons had been mobilized to heckle him.

“I am postponing a familiarization tour of Nairobi Water planned for 9 am today (Friday). Reliably informed internal goons and hecklers are ready to shout me down. Of course, paid by water cartels,” Ighathe said.

The operations of the company have not been running smoothly in the last two months after it emerged there were clandestine plans to sell the firm.

Also read; City Hall under pressure to shelve alleged Nairobi Water Company sale plan

The outgoing members of the Water and Sanitation committee of the county assembly have been investigating the sales claims but their term expired before they could release their report.

The workers had claimed they intercepted a draft MoU, stipulating the terms of sale of the firm to SUEZ, a French company.

More on this: City Hall has no plan to sell Nairobi Water Company, says Kidero

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