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MAWASCO employees protest poor working conditions

Normal operations have been disrupted at the Malindi Water and Sewerage Company in Malindi town, Kilifi County after employees staged protests over poor working conditions.

During the melee, one employee was injured on the leg after a teargas canister hit him, causing him great harm.

The more than 250 employees have complained of poor pay, and non-remittance of various deductions from their salaries to organizations including medical insurance coverage, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and union dues.

They also complained of poor working conditions which they said had led to poor service delivery and loss of morale.

Led by Moses Mwandoro, the employees blocked the entrance to the water entity with company vehicles and the Kilifi County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Water and Sanitation Omar Said who had turned up to listen to their please had to break into the premises where board members had been locked up by the protesting employee.

Mwandoro blamed the police for disrupting their peaceful protests by throwing teargas and shooting in the air.

“We have issues with MAWASCO and we were to have a meeting with directors but we could not agree on issues. They called the police who lobbed tear gas to disperse us and a canister hit and injured one of us,” he said.

Garama Ngoa said that since 2018 money meant for a deduction has been misused since it has never been remitted.

“Some of us are due for retirement and yet the deductions to help us get pension have never been remitted and our worry is that when we retire we will have nothing,” he said.

The CECM said that he tried to listen to their grievances but they turned rowdy and promised to find an avenue so that he can listen to their views.

“I tried to talk to them but they refused but what I have heard from the board is that they were complaining about job promotion and I will get their side of the story so that we have a common ground,” he said.

He condemned the protesters for blocking the entrance to the MAWASCO premises saying that all those involved will be penalized.

Omar assured Malindi residents that water provision services will not be disrupted and that the County government was expanding and replacing old water pipelines with modern and large-capacity pipes.

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