It is a two – horse race for county workers union top seat.

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By Adieri Mulaa

– Roba Duba faces his deputy in a stiff competition two weeks to elections.

Two contenders are fighting tooth and nail for the position of National General Secretary of the giant Kenya County Governments Workers Union in elections at the end of this month.

The KCGWU polls are slated for 30 April, 2021 at the Tom Mboya Labour College, Kisumu, where delegates from the 47 counties are expected to pick the Union’s new national officials.

A stiff duel is raging between the Union’s Deputy General Secretary, Ms Matilda Jebet Kimetto and the incumbent National General Secretary, Mr Roba Duba for the Union’s chief executive position.

Matilda is seeking to wrestle the seat from her boss, Mr Roba Duba, who however, is determined to be re – elected at the National Delegates Congress (NDC) which will be held in two weeks.

KCGWU National General Secretary Roba Duba (in white tie) with his deputy Ms Matilda Jebet Kimetto (seated center) at a past event.

Mr Ben Nyamweya, a former employee of Nairobi county government had also expressed interest in the seat. 

However, an official at the Union’s Nairobi branch told The Times Mr Nyamweya may not be in the race because he was not visible on the national campaign trail like the other two.

The Union campaigns are in top gear as Matilda and Roba Duba criss – cross the counties to win favour from delegates in the branches who will elect national office bearers during the NDC in Kisumu.

All the Union branches have already concluded their polls and elected officials who will converge at the National Delegates Congress.

Nairobi county with an establishment of over 11,000 employees has the largest number of workers among the devolved governments.

They are represented by two branches of the Union; the Nairobi City Branch headed by branch Secretary Benson Oliang’a and the Nairobi Staff Branch headed by Branch Secretary Festus Ngari.

County governments are essentially the backbone of public service delivery in the country under the devolved government system, which replaced the defunct local authorities under the 2010 constitution.

However, eight years into devolution, all the 47 county governments are still undergoing restructuring processes, policy formulations and staff recruitment besides some significant capital projects.

Even though, residents of various county governments have raised red flags over poor infrastructure in their counties and lackadaisical service delivery. 

There have also been reports of prevalent graft in several counties out of which a few governors and senior county officials were arraigned in court by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission.

Nonetheless, county governors have been reluctant to embrace trade unions representing workers in the county governments. 

Several cases of industrial unrest and labour disputes have been witnessed in many counties, touching on employees’ terms of service and commensurate emoluments.

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