Ghost workers: Kisii County stops salary payment to 740 staff


Kisii Governor Simba Arati (seated) at the Kisii Agricultural Training Institute in November 22, 2022 when he appeared before the Institute of Human Resource Management Kenya (IHRM) for staff headcount. [Eric Abuga, Standard]

Kisii County has stopped payment of salaries for 740 staff who failed to turn up during a staff headcount exercise that was conducted in November last year.

County Secretary James Ntabo, in a letter dated September 22, 2023 said some of those affected did not turn up for the staff head count exercise.

The exercise was conducted to weed out ghost workers from the county's payroll.

However, majority of the affected staff say they attended the said headcount exercise and have been reporting to their work stations as required.

They insist they have not received the show cause letters despite the County Secretary indicting in his memo that the letters had been issued to the 740 officers.

"The affected staff have been issued with the show cause letters to explain why they should not be dismissed from the service in line with section 44 (a) of the Employment Act, 2013," read part of Ntabo's letter.

The County Secretary and Head of Public service directed the County Human Resource Director to stop the salaries with immediate effect.

A total of 397 staff in the Health Department have been affected including Consultants, Medical Doctors, Clinical Officers and other non-medical staff.

Some 78 staff under the Department of Education, 55 from the Agriculture Department, 58 from Administration and 10 from Executive among others from other departments will not be receiving their October salaries.

Mystery of Kisii County workers without salaries for two years

Also to be affected include more than 50 staff who either resigned, those whose contracts expired, the deceased and those who transferred their services to other Counties.

Kisii County employees sort out their academic credentials before submitting them to an audit firm staff who are doing the headcount at Kisii Agricultural Training Center on November 18, 2022. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Last year EACC launched probe into alleged insurance fraud and staff numbers' inflation at the Kisii County government after Governor Simba Arati alleged that there were ghost workers at the county government.

Arati said Kisii County Government had 82 vehicles yet there were some 256 drivers on the payroll.

Arati further revealed that he would spend some Sh10 million on the verification of academic certificates for all of his staff.

he said the exercise would be conducted for the 5,900 county employees at half the normal rates charged by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).

The governor said some of the staff had presented fake documents for their employment in the county after presenting himself for the staff headcount exercise at Kisii Agricultural Centre.