Governor Orengo in spot for failing to hire chief officers

Siaya Governor James Orengo when he appeared before committee on County Public Investments and Special Funds on July 13, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Siaya County government has been put on the spot for failing to appoint chief officers, more than eight months after the election of Governor James Orengo.

When executive members were sworn in on January 8, according to lobby groups, the appointment of chief officers was expected to follow soon.

The 10 positions were advertised in December last year. More than 100 people, including those who served in the previous administration, were shortlisted.

According to Chris Owalla of the Siaya County Civil Society Network, the delay could be having a negative impact on service delivery. "The county's wage bill currently stands at an average of 40 per cent which is already a danger and a burden to the people as it jeopardises adequate expenditure on development," he said.

In a letter written to the Service Board, the Community Initiative Action Group Kenya accused Governor Orengo of ignoring the law.

"The Chief Executive Officer to the board has acted beyond six months as stipulated in Section 34 (3) of the Public Service Commission Act. We, therefore, ask the county public service board to take immediate action and enforce the law," said Owalla.

But the board's secretary and acting CEO Wilfred Nyagudi dismissed their claims, saying the lobby groups were partisan.

Nyagudi said the process has been delayed due to the huge number of those who applied. "Applications made manually were many and we had to go through all of them before concluding the process," he said.

While maintaining that the process was fair, Nyagudi added that they will make public the final report of the recruitment process through the County Assembly, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), and National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).

The lobby groups also accused the administration of recycling people who had served in the previous administration.