Police officers in the Lang’ata area resorted to employing teargas to disband a group of protesting contract workers from Nairobi County, who had been tasked with maintaining the Lang’ata cemetery. These workers, stationed at the cemetery entrance on Wednesday, expressed their dissatisfaction, stating that they hadn’t received their wages for a five-month period, despite their diligent work.
According to Monica Kimani, the Lang’ata sub-county police commander, the officers intervened and dispersed the demonstrators when they began setting tires on fire near the entrance of the Lang’ata police station. Kimani indicated that she had advised the workers to take their grievances to the Nairobi County Governor’s office in the city instead of causing disruption in the vicinity.
Meanwhile, the workers have declared their intent to keep the cemetery gates closed until they are remunerated, urging those looking to bury their loved ones to either return home or explore alternative options.
Following the incident, Nairobi County Secretary Patrick Analo confirmed that the casual workers had not yet been compensated. He attributed the delay in payments to the county’s budgetary cycle. Analo stated, “We have around 77 laborers who were engaged six months ago to maintain the cemetery and enhance its appearance. I extend my apologies that they haven’t received their payments thus far.”
Furthermore, he revealed that the payment request had been processed and approved. He concluded by saying, “It’s just a matter of time, and they will be compensated by next week. It’s regrettable that they chose to protest today, leading to the closure of the cemetery, inconveniencing those who intended to lay their loved ones to rest.”