Wajir 'ghost' workers: Governor stops fresh employment

Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi when he flagged off a consignment of medical supplies. [Courtsey, Twiiter]

Wajir County has stopped the recruitment of new employees until the ongoing human resource audit is concluded.

Governor Ahmed Abdullahi said his administration has engaged a team of technical experts who are working with the help of the directorate of personnel management and the county public service board to help in carrying out the exercise.

Abdullahi, who made a comeback to the helm of the county said the audit will be carried out across all departments and will include but not be limited to directors, deputies, and assistant directors to ascertain whether they have requisite and appropriate academic requirements for the respective jobs.

The governor issued a stern warning to individuals with forged or fake documents adding that they shall not be spared if found guilty.

"We have 6, 000 county staff and 1,500 of them have been discovered to be ghost workers. I am not hiring anyone; the board is not recruiting anyone. We have frozen recruiting new employees until we clean the workforce," he said on Tuesday while launching a consignment of medical items worth Sh69 million.

There have been allegations that many people were put on the county payroll to earn salaries without even having employment or contract letters, while others, who were employed procedurally have not been reporting to work over the years.

As such, the audit exercise, the governor said will be seeking to establish whether they were employed legally.

He regretted that Wajir had turned into a recruitment bureau hindering the provision of essential services to residents.

Governor Abdullahi however denied any witch-hunting whatsoever, terming the exercise, a bid to get rid the workforce of ghost workers to be able to meet its service provision priorities.

"I just want to sound a strong warning to county employees drawing a salary without setting any foot in the office, that they would be dealt with legally and procedurally as provided in the HR manual," he said.

He added: "It is very unfair to have a doctor spending at the hospital for a whole day while another one is comfortable at home yet they both draw salaries as county employees."

Abdullahi said as a result, public funds have been channelled into unnecessary salary payments at the expense of essential services.

He revealed that 78 per cent of the funds were being spent on employee salaries leaving a paltry 22 per cent for development purposes.

"No one will be favoured in this exercise. Even if my own family member is found earning without working, they will be removed from the county workforce. If you are in the payroll, work, report to the office, earn rightfully, and no one will be victimised," he said.

Abdullahi, who is nearing his first 100 days in office, had promised to deal with what he termed a bloated workforce that requires urgent reform to enable the prioritization of development programs.