Ghost Workers: Dead staff still on Wajir County payroll, audit reveals

Governor Ahmed Abdullahi and Chairman Public Service board Jelle Abdi display the HR audit report. [Mohamed Saman]

A human resource audit carried out by the Wajir County Government for three months has revealed some former staff who have since died are still on the payroll.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi said his administration will sanitize the payroll and restructure staff after signing a performance contract.

Governor Abdullahi said most of the staff are minimal work at the county headquarters instead of being at the ward level where their services are needed most.

"I was elected not to serve the headquarters here in Wajir town; services are needed at the periphery from Danaba to Dunto, Konton to Korondille, Burmiyow to Basanicha. All these towns are entitled to crucial services that Wajir town now enjoys," Abdullahi said.

The report also revealed unfair promotions, with those who deserved not getting promotion, an injustice the governor said would breed animosity among the staff.

"Some staff were promoted to a job group the law doesn't accept. Others are pending promotion, which they so rightfully deserve. We have to undo these wrongs by creating a team to work on these issues one at a time." Ahmed added.

The governor maintains that employees have rights, and those rights would be safeguarded when implementing the report.

"We want to have staff stationed at ward level; we want someone from agriculture, trade, lands, cooperatives, revenue, and environment to be stationed at sub-county or ward level so that we decentralize services down to the villages," he said.

He said that his administration will not employ new employees but first make use of the staff so that at the end of his second term, te benefits of devolution would be felt at the village level.

Since the inception of devolution, Wajir County has witnessed a major facelift with new businesses, tarmac roads, a Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC); over 65 dispensaries built, new maternity wings, and now Wajir general hospital is being upgraded from level four to level five.

Maryam Mohamud, a mother of five who sells groceries in Wajir town, said she welcomes the audit move by the governor, saying the public is only interested in service delivery and not political rhetoric.

"Devolution on paper is a blueprint that will make the less developed part of the country bridge the gap to the more developed part of Kenya. Governor Ahmed Abdullahi has built this fresh produce market, Soko Mjinga Two, something that has been a pipe dream since independence, but we want him to do more,", Maryam said.

Abdullahi, who is serving his second spell after taking over from Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Mohamud, is also facing court battles with Dr. Hassan Fuje, who finished second running on the Jubilee party.

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