Kitui County Public Service Board has announced plans to carry out a staff audit exercise that seeks to weed out ghost workers and tame the rising wage bill which is now at 37 percent of the total county budget.
Kitui county has an approved budget of 12.49 billion in the 2021/2022 Financial year. 4.2 billion (33 percent) is set to go to development and 8.3 billion recurrent expenditure (67 percent) which includes the wage bill.
Appearing before Kitui County Assembly appointments committee chaired by Munywoki Mwinzi, the board chair Florence Makindi said the ballooning wage bill was because of increasing casuals and suspected ghost workers.
“We have written letters and indicated we want those names so that we can appoint them from the board and keep their contacts so that we can monitor if these people are working. We need to get contacts so that we do not have ghost workers. But please give us time. It is just 3 months and we have done this much.” Makindi said.
“We are relying on the audit done in 2018. We will go to sub-counties and find who are these casuals, what do they do? So that we can bring the wage bill down to 30 percent of the budget.” She added.
On the issue of increasing the number of Chief officers in the county, the board through the chair told MCAs it was meant to take care of Kitui’s diversity and to ensure implementation of the Governor’s manifesto. The reasons however did not convince the MCAs.
“The Governor’s manifesto touches on the agenda four of the National Government and the issue of service delivery is very important and that is why we are having many chief officers and as you are aware, Kitui is large that is why we need more officers.” She added.
The grilling came just days after a section of Members of Kitui County Assembly together with Youths from the county blamed the Speaker and Clerk of the County Assembly for stopping new recruitment of County staff.