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Oparanya defends incentives to health workers

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya says the county governments have not violated any law by promising to give incentives to health workers.

Oparanya, who is also the chairman of the Council of Governors (CoG), argued that the incentives were a short term package meant to boost the morale of health workers during this fight against Covid-19.

“The county governments that have made proposals to offer incentives have consulted with their County Public Service Boards and the County Assembly to offer such packages,” he said.

He was reacting to a letter from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairperson Lyn Mengich which termed the incentives as unlawful as only the salaries’ body was mandated to determine remuneration.

The CoG chairman lauded the national government’s efforts in combating the virus, saying that mass testing would boost efforts to fight the pandemic.

At the same time, Oparanya asked the national government to move with speed and rescue Kenyans said to be suffering in China.

The governor said the council has observed with concern the way Kenyan citizens among them students were being mistreated in China.

He disclosed that Kakamega County has 38 students in the foreign country.

“Kenya and China have had a cordial relationship and such racial discrimination might undermine this existing good relationship,” he said.

Kenyans in China have been subjected to torture including being denied access to restaurants, thrown out of their residential houses by landlords and being harassed by security agencies for allegedly spreading coronavirus.

He also appealed to traders against taking advantage of the current situation in the country to increase prices of basic commodities.

Oparanya said this was the time for every Kenyan to sacrifice and support each other in this very difficult period.

By Sammy Mwibanda

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