The giant union Kenya County Government Workers Union is melting due to infighting among top union members.
Ben Nyamwega who is eyeing the position of general secretary has accused Roba Duba of contravening the law by operating the union’s statutory deductions account as a personal account where most members are denied emergency loans to pay school fees during these hard times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Roba is the KCGWU general secretary and is said to be hands-on clinging on the seat through hook and crook. Nyamwega at the same time castigated the sacking of former deputy general secretary Raphael Angore and locking the office of current deputy general secretary Matilda Chebet adding that it was malicious and against the union’s constitution. The union is running without a deputy general secretary. In a letter dated January 4 2021 that Nyamwega wrote to Roba and was copied to the registrar of trade unions and labour commissioner, he was asked to give notice to the respective officers of his intention to contest for the position of general secretary. Roba has since refused to reply to the notice. Since he was elected to office eight years ago, Roba has not signed a single collective bargaining agreement with county workers and many members have suffered like Virginia Kaluki whose letter is circulating on social media. Kaluki, a national executive committee member, has been facing threats and intimidation from one Chris Mutua who was sacked by the county government of Machakos.
Mutua went to court to challenge his dismissal where he told the court that his contract was terminated and wanted the employer to pay him terminal dues. The dismissal automatically makes Mutua a non-member of the union not eligible to participate in elections. Nyamwega has appealed to members of the union to rise and take up positions in their respective branches and redeem it from imminent collapse under the leadership of Roba. Nyamwega is also a member of Kenya Institute of Supplies Management and Chartered Institute of Procurement with a wealth of experience in union matters having worked for the then Nairobi city council for over 30 years.