Nakuru MCAs fault Public Service board over ward jobs

Nakuru County Public Service Board Chairman Waithanji Mutiti when he appeared before the County Assembly Liaison Committee to shed light on the hiring of ward administrators. [PHOTO: BONIFACE THUKU/ STANDARD]

NAKURU: A row is brewing in Nakuru County Government over hiring of senior staff after it emerged that some officers could be serving in non-existent positions.

In a county with 55 wards, the Nakuru County Public Service board recruited 80 ward administrators and 11 deputy sub-county ward administrators even though the position had not been sanctioned by the assembly.

During questioning by the Assembly Liaison Committee, board chairman Waithanji Mutiti could not explain how the County Secretary, Mr Joseph Motari, and his deputy Geoffrey Kioko were recruited.

“We were never asked to advertise for the position of County Secretary or his deputy. I don’t know how they were employed,” said Mr Mutiti.

In his ruling two years ago Justice Anyara Emukule had noted that the County Government Act provides that the County Secretary must be competitively sourced before the name is submitted to the assembly.

He upheld the decision by the County Assembly to reject the nomination of Motari as the County Secretary but directed that he continues acting as interim secretary until the county government competitively recruits one.


“The assembly committee was right to reject him. He may continue serving as the interim secretary pending the appointment of a competitively recruited county secretary,” the Judge ruled then.

Mutiti told the committee that Mr Kioko is the Director of Public Service Management while in public forums he is usually introduced as the deputy county secretary. A plaque on his office door also indicates he is the Deputy County Secretary.

Tempers flared during the questioning by the MCAs as the board shifted blame on the hiring of the 80 ward administrators to the County Public Service Management, arguing that it only recruits workers upon receiving request from the line department.

“Our recruitments have tried to be within the law. Once we receive requests, we fill them. Other issues, including deployment, is the work of the relevant departments,” Mutiti said.

But the assembly insists the county does not need the services of the officials who were recruited in April. Speaker Susan Kihika questioned why the number of ward administrators hired exceeded the number of existing wards

“Did you consider the wage bill when you recruited for the position of a deputy sub county administrator which you created without seeking the authority of the assembly?” Ms Kihika posed.

Claims of irregular recruitment of staff, nepotism and bribery have been rife with residents and MCAs accusing the Nakuru County Public Service board of arbitrarily sacking casual workers to hire the kin of board members.

Kabazi Ward Mwangi Waithaka threatened to push for the disbandment of the board, claiming it had failed to carry out its mandate.

“Board members, most of whom were polls candidates in the last elections, have often hired workers to endear themselves to the electorate and we must stop this,” Mr Waithaka said. He claimed that the board sacked 148 nurses and health technologists and re-advertised their positions.

But woes bedeviling the board appear to be far from over and its office was recently locked by the landlord over rent arrears.

“We moved to our new offices recently but today we were shocked to find that we could not access the premises after the  landlord locked us out.  Therefore,  I cannot access some crucial documents,” Mutiti said

Kihika wondered why the offices were locked on the day board members had been summoned to appear before the assembly. “We find it hard to believe that on the day we require critical documents you are locked out,” she said.

Mutiti was also asked to explain why Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua had using  the services of several  political, youth, legal and media advisors who are under the payroll of the county.


Majority Leader Samuel Waithuki raised concern over the ballooning wage bill.

“The recruitment in most of these positions is unprocedural and goes against the County Government Act. While the executive can create offices when it is extremely necessary, the assembly has to be consulted so that the issue can be discussed and interrogated,” he said.

The governor and deputy governor’s offices have employed former journalists whose roles are not clearly defined.

The Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission had last year launched investigations into the board’s activities following allegations of misuse of funds but the findings have not been made public.

The revelations come in the wake of a report by the Auditor General Edward Ouko indicating that in the financial year 2013/2014, the county spent Sh4.4 billion on salaries out of a total revenue of Sh8.2 billion. Only  Sh841 million was spent on development.