Hon. Roba Duba Highlights tha Controversy over County governments employment procedures

Hon. Roba Duba Highlights tha Controversy over County governments employment procedures

The new secretary general of the Kenya county government workers’ union, formerly known as Kenya local government workers union has warned county governments over inappropriate employment procedures. Roba duba who was elected as the unions secretary general in an election conducted in Nakuru county Saturday, warned that governors who have threatened to lay off existing workers for fresh employees are undermining worker’s rights. Duba, who is also the member of parliament for Moyale said governors should stick to the laid down recruitment procedures. He has vowed to negotiate with all the county governors within the existing framework of labour laws to ensure workers’ roles are enhanced

Moyale MP, Hon. Roba Duba set to clinch top union job

By KINYURU MUNUHE, The People 

Moyale MP set to clinch top union jobMoyale MP Roba Duba is all but poised to clinch the coveted position of secretary general of the giant Kenya County Governments Workers Union. The former Nairobi Town Clerk has won the support of seven out of the eight regions that comprise the union’s National Delegates Conference. At the final stage of the nomination held in Mombasa a week ago, his only competitor in the race, Michael Wachira, failed to secure a proposer and seconder.

Wachira, who is the union’s national treasurer, has since withdrawn from the contest. A notice for the election was issued by outgoing secretary general, Boniface Munyao, on December 5 last year following a resolution of the union’s National Executive Council. The election has been occasioned by a ruling of the Industrial Court, which nullified the election of Munyao following a petition lodged by former deputy secretary general Alloys Otiende.

The union’s constitution stipulates that a candidate could be declared elected unopposed if he or she gets nominated by five out of the eight regions and has no opponent proposed by the union’s national executive council on the election day. So far, Duba has surpassed the minimum requirement to be declared elected unopposed.

Duba told Political that if elected as secretary general, his main focus would be centred on the welfare of all employees in the 47 county governments, through amicable negotiations with county governments and other stakeholders, in line with the industrial relations machinery. “I want to steer this union to the next level having in mind the welfare of all workers in the county governments and service delivery to the local residents as a priority,” he said.

Having served as a former banker at the National Bank of Kenya and as town clerk in Nairobi and Mombasa, Duba says he has wide experience in administration, which will come in handy, adding his wealth of experience gives him a head start in the election set to be held this month. If elected, some of the immediate issues he will have to confront include the disputes over transfer of certain functions and services as spelt out in the Constitution to county governments.

The functions include the crucial health services and the pertinent question has been whether county governments are capable of discharging these services equitably as well as whether the welfare of workers will be protected. On the other hand, some governors have said they have bloated payrolls arising from workers they inherited from the defunct local authorities and have announced plans to send home most of the former council workers and recruit their own.

But the union has put its foot down on the matter and told governors to follow rules and procedure as enshrined in the labour laws. This is one of the entry points that the Union’s new secretary general will have to tackle as a matter of priority.  However, having the advantage of being a parliamentarian, Duba says he is well positioned to tackle issues concerning the welfare of workers in the county governments, both from the National Assembly and at the union level.

He says he is an old hand in the trade union movement having served as deputy secretary general of the Banking and Insurance Finance Union (BIFU) now headed by Isaiah Kubai. It was during his time that BIFU came up with structured pay packages for bank employees, which served to end strikes and other forms of industrial action that rocked the banking sector in the country at the time.

Most recently, Duba served as town Clerk of the defunct City Council Nairobi before resigning to successfully contest for the Moyale parliamentary seat in Marsabit County. Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer of LAPFUND, a pension scheme for county government workers (previously employees of the defunct local authorities).

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