Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo is a man under siege after it was revealed that during the period between 2021 and 2022, the County Public Service Board recruited 47 members of staff in four departments on his advice without following due process.
What is worrying is that all 47 were from one dominant ethnic community in the County, contrary to Section 65(1)(e) of the County Governments Act, 2012, which stipulates that in selecting candidates for appointment, the County Public Service Board shall consider the need to ensure that at least thirty per cent of the vacant posts at entry level are filled by candidates who are not from one ethnic community in the County.
Investigations reveal that a review of personal files revealed that two officers among the 47 recruited were appointed to the positions of Senior Inspector (Water and Sanitation) in the Ministry of Environment, Water, Mining, and Natural Resources and Civil Engineer in the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development. Interestingly, the two officers did not even apply for the advertised vacancies, were not shortlisted and interviewed but ended up being issued appointment letters. In addition, documents in the files showed that one of the officers did not have the qualifications required for the position he was appointed to, while the qualifications of the other could not be established.
The county government also irregularly spent Ksh. 1,848,366, as salaries paid to 21 employees for nine months who did not deliver any service to the public as they did not report for duty, contrary to Section 149(1) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012. Governor Nyaribo’s team says that the salaries were stopped in March 2022, and no further action was taken towards the recovery of the irregular payments. The county also spent Ksh. 839,336,416 in respect of the use of goods and services, which included payments in respect of other operating expenses amounting to Ksh. 76,589,830. A review of records revealed that a balance of Kshs. 15 million was paid to a contractor for the provision of consultancy services for the preparation of the Nyamira County Spatial Plan (2020-2030) at a contract sum of Ksh. 74,999,973 for a contract period of 18 months from July 2020 to 15th January 2022.
The contract sum was to be paid in four (4) phases: 30% on submission of the approved inception report, 30% on submission of the situational report, 30% on submission of the draft plan, and 10% on approval of the final plan. However, although the contract period had expired, 70% of the work had not been executed, and no explanation was provided for the delay. Further, no explanation was provided on why the payment of Ksh. 15m was made from recurrent votes, despite the project being capital in nature. It is feared that the county could be losing millions of shillings through payments to non-existent or ghost workers. Governor Nyaribo has also been at pains to exonerate himself from the payroll scam after his pay slip leaked out, showing a gross pay of Ksh. 924,000 as of September 2021 alongside unspecified arrears of Ksh. 5.6 million.
Nyaribo has also been at pains to explain the circumstances under which allowances of more than Ksh. 3 million per month were paid to some senior county staff, he was allegedly receiving irregular remuneration. According to reports, the senior staff has been receiving what is designated as ‘special house allowances’.