Elizabeth Kitsao, a casual worker at Kilifi county hospital has been contemplating committing suicide since her salary was reduced in April.
To add insult to injury, Kitsao has not received her salary for the last three months, making life unbearable for the mother of six.
In an interview, Kitsao said she is unable to send her child back to school after schools reopened on Monday.
“I started working at the Kilifi county hospital in September 2013 but I got my engagement in 2015. I used to be paid Ksh 9,000 then after sometime I started receiving Ksh15, 000. From July this year, the salary was reduced to Ksh 8, 000. My husband was involved in an accident and he cannot work. I can’t live to witness my children suffering,” said Kitsao.
Out of her six children, one is in grade 4 and another in class 8. They are both at home now.
Kitsao said the Kilifi county department of health has been discriminating casuals with some who came later being employed as permanent staff while others are working as casuals for years.
“The department is trying to frustrate us by first slashing our wages and now they are delaying the little they are giving us. When we try to raise concerns they threaten to sack us that’s why majority of the casuals are suffering in silence for fear of being victimized,” added Kitsao.
She also accused the department of nepotism.
George Mboro, another casual at the County hospital also said he has not been able to take his son and his brother to school. His son is in class 8 while his brother is in form 4.
“I have worked at the hospital as a casual for 9 years now. I have not received any salary from July. The department has 1800 casuals who have not been paid countywide while at Kilifi county hospital we are 106 casuals who have not been paid. The casuals cannot speak because they are threatened with the sack,” said Mboro
Mboro added that the administrators in the department have been taking them in circles.
“Every time we raise these issues they say they will sack us. We demand our rights. I have not eaten anything for the second day now,” he added.
When contacted for comment, Kilifi county executive committee member for health Charles Dadu said the issue of casuals is being handled by medical superintendent in the various hospitals.