What you need to know:
- While some were awash with cash, others either got less or nothing at all.
- Close to 3,000 employees were however left without salaries.
A section of Homa Bay County government workers literally smiled all the way to the bank last week after they were finally paid their delayed June salaries.
They, however, got more than they had bargained for when they pressed the withdrawal button.
Most of them had a pleasant surprise when they realised that their accounts had been credited with up to three times their pay due to an error linked to the management of the county government payroll.
While some were awash with cash, others either got less or nothing at all.
The incident has left close to 3,000 employees without salaries, who will have to wait until next month when the issued will be resolved.
The affected staff receive their salaries through Cooperative and Absa banks, which have branches in Homa Bay town.
The county human resource management director Omondi Auma apologised but blamed the two banks for the ‘salary hitch’.
Surrender extra money
“The error was caused by operational issues at the banks while they were processing the salary payments for June. The county government is working with the banks to address the issue,” said Ms Auma.
This is the first time the county government has reported an incident affecting its payroll.
“There were a lot of discrepancies in how employees were paid from two major financial institutions. The county government is working to have the issue addressed and ensure those who were not paid receive their June salaries,” said Ms Auma.
But as the staff who got the windfall were celebrating, their joy was cut short after the HR department instructed them to surrender the extra money. Those who fail to do so shall be deducted in the coming months until all the money is recovered.
“The purpose of this memo is to request those with over payment to surrender the same to the county government of Homa Bay salary account and submit the receipts of payment to the payroll manager for acknowledgement, failure to which recoveries will be done without further reference to them,” stated the department.
The affected staff were urged to be patient as the matter was being addressed. The department also “apologised for the confusion and inconveniences caused by the hitch”.
The county employees lamented that the devolved unit had subjected them to “unnecessary suffering and inconveniences” following the hitch.
Endless salary delays
Kenya National Union of Civil Servants county chairman Tom Akech said up to 3000 employees missed their salaries.
“I started getting calls from some workers that June salaries were delayed. It turned out that those who were complaining had not been paid. But there is another group that got more than usual pay,” said Mr Akech.
The official said the error had affected workers’ financial plans, including preparations to send their children back to school.
“Salary payment has become a headache for the county government. We always have endless salary delays and now there are errors involving payment,” said Mr Akech.
The affected staff have planned to stage a demonstration at the county headquarters.
They want Governor Cyprian Awiti, his deputy Hamilton Orata and county secretary Isaiah Ogwe to address them on the issue.
“Salaries may be delayed and paid at a later date. But this affects statutory deductions like loan payments and insurance contributions, which have strict deadlines,” said Mr Akech.