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Kitui staff audit unearths how casuals and ghost workers were used to plunder county funds

Dr. Florence Muinde Chairperson of the Kitui County Human Resource audit and rationalization committee on Tuesday (28th February 2023) presented the report that unveiled how County Funds were plundered in paying ghost workers.

In the report presented to Governor Malombe, the chair revealed that the Kitui County Human Resource Department presented 8,114 county employees paid by the county government of Kitui. Out of the 8,114  employees in the baseline data,  935 employees provided in the baseline data did not turn up for headcount and were treated as ghost workers.  A total of 7,526 employees were counted during the headcount where 347 casuals who were not in the baseline data were among those counted.

“Out of the 935 ghost workers, 326 are on permanent and pensionable terms, 23 are on contract, 56 ECDE teachers and 530 casuals, the number of casuals cannot be ascertained. There are many gaps, most of them are not even on the list and have been recruited without a clear roadmap,” Dr. Florence, the chair of the audit committee remarked.

According to the committee, since there are no clear records of the casuals, some of them complained of not being paid for 6 months due to unregulated engagement and called upon the County Public Service Board to come up with a clear road map for recruiting the casuals.

The wage bill for December 2022 was approximately 3.9 billion without casual payments from the total budget of 12.4 billion in the 2021/2022 Financial Year where the committee recommended that the county government initiates measures to recover any irregular payments made to staff. There were also cases of double payments where 5 employees were paid through the manual payroll and IPPD online method.

“The committee also recommends that the salaries of the 935 employees who didn’t turn up for the headcount to be stopped immediately and engagement of casuals and wage payments to be stopped,” the chairperson stated.

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The County Public Service Board was also tasked to provide a guideline on areas where casuals should not be deployed and also regulate the engagement of casuals by formulating an inventory of all casuals engaged in all departments and municipalities.

“The County Public Service Board recruited 592 employees without evidence of accompanying requests and affirmation of the availability of funds for Personnel Emoluments (PE) from the relevant Chief Officers. We also find out that 34 officers across different departments were appointed into positions without meeting the minimum requirements as per the career progression guidelines and the advertisement that declared the vacancies,” Dr. Florence further revealed.

The committee also recommended that remedial action should be taken against employees who through their acts of commission or omission led to grim malpractices in the management of the county payroll.

Governor Malombe thanked the committee for working tirelessly to come up with such a comprehensive report affirming that under his leadership he will ensure that the report is fully implemented.

“We will follow the due diligence with fairness and justice, it may look like it is taking longer to implement the report but in our human resource manual if someone is accused of doing something contrary to the laydown procedures you don’t just wake up and sack them. There is the due process for getting justice to avoid people rushing to courts to justify that we didn’t follow due diligence,” Governor Malombe stated.

He assured that they will follow due diligence, where required to put a team or panel his government will do so to give those who will be accused time to defend themselves.

Last week, another damning report was presented to the Governor on pending bills that had shocking revelations. Missed the story? check it out below;

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