The Kisii County government has taken a decisive step by suspending salary payments for 740 employees who failed to participate in a recent headcount exercise. According to county officials, the move aims to address concerns about ghost workers allegedly draining the county’s budget through unauthorized salaries and allowances.
Governor Simba Arati led the comprehensive audit, designed to identify and eliminate fictitious employees from the county’s payroll. However, some of the affected workers have raised objections, claiming that they did participate in the headcount and reported to their workstations as required.
The impact of this suspension is significant, affecting 397 employees in the Health Department, which includes medical consultants, doctors, clinical officers, and other non-medical staff. In addition, 78 workers from the Department of Education, 55 from the Agriculture Department, 58 from Administration, and 10 from the Executive branch, among others, will also not receive their October salaries.
The issue in Kisii County gained notoriety last year when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) initiated an investigation into alleged insurance fraud and a sudden surge in staff numbers within the county government. Governor Simba Arati had previously raised concerns about the existence of ghost workers on the county’s payroll.
The investigations revealed alarming discrepancies, such as 82 county vehicles on record, while there were 256 drivers on the payroll, sparking suspicions of mismanagement within the county administration.
Governor Arati has also announced a proactive measure to spend Ksh10 million on verifying the academic certificates of all county employees. This move is in response to suspicions of fraudulent documentation submitted by some staff members during their employment in the county.
The governor has emphasized his commitment to enhancing transparency and accountability in managing public funds and personnel. The ongoing efforts to address these issues reflect the county government’s dedication to ensuring efficiency and prudent management of resources.