What you need to know:
- But the affected officers told Nation that the CS's reference letter is enough to enable him do the follow up
- The officers called for fair treatment by the ministry’s top officials and the immediate payment of their dues.
- The affected staff said they attended trainings on different dates in the US states of Arizona and Washington, DC.
Some employees of the Ministry of ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs from counties, who went on an official trip to the US last year, are up in arms alleging discrimination in the payment of foreign travel allowances.
The affected staff said they attended trainings on different dates in the US states of Arizona and Washington, DC, together with county commissioners, county police commanders, representatives of other security agencies and officials from the Ministry of ICT headquarters.
Before embarking on the trip, they said, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, in a letter, undertook to settle the allowances as per the existing regulations.
According to the letter seen by the Nation referenced MICT/Gen. /2/4 (40) and signed by the CS, the ministry committed to cater for their per diem as "per the stipulated rate in the SRC (Salaries and Remuneration Commission) formula".
"Clearance is hereby granted for you to participate in the public affairs consultative visit to the United States of America Joint Task Force West (JTF-W) in Tucson, Arizona to learn about the ongoing government programmes on border security and observe border operations and communications from 14th to 21st September, 2019," states CS Mucheru's letter.
“With the assurance from the CS, we left for the foreign country for the training that brought together county commissioners, county police commanders and county information officers from the border counties with the hope that we would be paid what we are entitled to once we landed back," the affected employees told the Nation on Thursday.
Some officials paid
Whereas the field officers left without the quarter per diem, some "officials from the ICT headquarters went abroad with their allowances fully paid in advance".
"On return, we provided the relevant documents including air tickets, boarding passes and copies of passports for reimbursement of the allowances but the ministry has since kept mum and no amount of inquiries would make the Teleposta Towers officials to act," they said.
What irks the field officers most is the fact that officials based at Teleposta Towers who made the trip have had their claims settled while they are kept in the dark with nobody eager to handle their matter.
“The trip was made in the 2019/2020 financial year and the headquarters staff deliberately refused to pay our dues. Will we ever be paid?” asked one of the affected staff who said that one of them died mid this year after waiting in vain for the allowances to enable him cater for medication.
The officers called for fair treatment by the ministry’s top officials and the immediate payment of their dues.
“We have made enquiries from our colleagues from other departments who were on the trip and we have learnt that they were paid their quarter per diems and we are wondering whether the government has a different circular from the existing one by SRC that stipulates the allowances that a government worker is entitled to," they lamented.
On Thursday, CS Mucheru said he is not aware that some staff who attended the training have not been paid.
"I can only pursue the matter if I have the names of the affected staff," he said, adding, “If they cannot disclose who they are, then let the media come to their aid."
But the affected officers told Nation that the CS's reference letter is enough to enable him do the follow up.
"We cannot go public for fear of victimisation but we were entitled to the pay and nothing should stop the ministry from addressing our plight," said one official.