Nairobi residents on Tuesday woke up to a filthy city as the county garbage collectors downed tools due to non-payment.
Clad in their bright red overalls, the angry and hungry workers emptied bins onto the streets as they marched through parts of the Nairobi central business district (CBD).
Residents heading to work early in the morning were met with a strong stink in many of the littered streets.
Larry Wambua, the city’s Environmental Executive, confirmed the protests saying the workers had down tools due to delayed payments.
Mr Wambua shifted blame to the Finance department citing the confusion over the holder of the office.
He added that the workers have not been paid for at least three months.
“I am aware of the strike which is due to non-payment for almost three months. For us as a department, we do not make payments. This is the mandate of the Finance department which has had a tussle on who is the substantive CEC,” said Mr Wambua.
However, speaking to Nation, Economic Planning Chief Officer Washington Makodingo disagreed with Mr Wambua further accusing his department of failing to forward the list of contractors to be paid in a timely manner.
“The Environment department should not blame us for their incompetence because they know they have slept on the job,” said Makodingo.
“It is the responsibility of the Environment department to forward the list of contractors to be paid to the Finance Department. They are supposed to give us their priority in terms of payment … they should not blame their incompetence on us,” he added.
Terming the claims made by Mr Wambua as false, the officer noted that there is smooth flow of work in the Finance Department.
“There is no confusion and nothing has stalled. We are going on with normal operations and, in fact, we are currently busy paying salaries,” said Makodingo.
The developments come weeks after embattled Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko announced that City Hall had signed a one-year renewable contract with the National Youth Service (NYS) to help in garbage collection in Nairobi.
However, according to Environment Chief Officer Mohamed Abdi, the agreement is yet to take effect.