How Nyamira County staff was to get paid Sh25million instead of Sh25,000

Nyamira County headquarters, Nyamira Town. [Stanley Ongwae, Standard]

Senior Government officials in the Nyamira County Government are at pains to explain how a junior staff was to get paid a Sh25 million special allowance for March 2023.

A February 25, 2023, pay slip belonging to the 31-year-old staff working at Ekerenyo market, shows that she was set to receive a Basic Salary Arrears of Sh4,770, a special salary of Sh8,404, commuter allowance of Sh4,000, commuter allowance arrears of Sh1,500 but her total earnings amounted to Sh25,037,526.

In the pay slip, the employee was to have a total deduction of Sh9.6 million with a NET pay for the month of March standing at Sh15,432,833.

A letter dated March 6, 2023, signed by the County Human Resource Director Godfrey Kiriago through the Chief Officer Department of Vocational Training states that the staff was erroneously paid Sh25 million as house allowance instead of Sh2,700 for the month of March.

“Please note that the excess salary paid to you erroneously has been deducted from your pay but your salary for March 2023 has been paid plus your accrued salary arrears and allowances totalling Sh19,052,” Kiriago wrote.

Kiriago has since confirmed that the letter originated from his office but contradicted himself on the contents of the letter saying salary for March has not been released.

August last year there was a similar uproar from the public after another pay slip allegedly to be that of area Governor Amos Nyaribo leaked showing that the County boss was to receive total earnings of Sh6.5 million.

The alleged pay slip for the month of September 2022 showed that the Governor was to earn arrears for the gross monthly amounting to Sh5.6 million. After deductions, the Governor was to take home a NETT pay of Sh4 million.

November 10, 2022, the County Government Press service issued a statement saying; “The arrears reflected as a result of upward adjustments for Deputy Governors emanating from a case between the County Government of Kakamega and SRC. All counties had effected the ruling except Nyamira.”

The letter said; “When the Governor assumed the role of governor in January 2021, he continued receiving the deputy governor’s salary until August 2021 when it was adjusted and the difference between January and August paid in arrears.”

However, despite the statement tending to clarify the matter, the August 2022 Pay Slip for the County boss was indicted as Governor.

One of the Senior Accountants in the County questioned the capacity of the staff working under the payroll and those in the finance department in light of the recent happenings.

“Unless the County has employed quacks this would have been detected during the payroll reconciliation. Even the Bank should have questioned the huge salary. Financial Management Systems do not make errors of such nature. Must have been done manually.”

The leaking of the Pay Slip, according to some staff at the County Finance Department could be an inside job where some staff feel disgruntled about the alleged blatant corruption in the county.

One of the staff who spoke to the Standard and who works at the payroll department said it could be possible the said staff who was set to receive the Sh25 million could be a ghost worker.

“We have had remarks, even from the Governor on the existence of ghost workers in the County. We couldn’t be shocked that this could be one of them. A lot could be happening and someone decided to leak such information to expose some of the bosses.”