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House team questions Nakuru governor over workforce

By Jeckonia Otieno | July 19th 2016 at 12:10:44 GMT +0300

Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua before the Senate Assembly during their meeting at County Hall, Nairobi on Monday 16/11/15 on the operation of Nakuru Municipal Courts revenue collections {PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO}

Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua was yesterday grilled by a Senate committee over the bloated workforce in his county.

Mr Mbugua appeared before the Public Accounts Committee following claims that his administration had 7,200 employees.

The governor dismissed the claims, saying the county government had 5,180 workers, most of who were inherited from the national government and the defunct local governments.

"Our workforce is stable because we inherited most of our staff from the national and local governments," he said, adding that the county had inherited 5,186 workers.

This is the second time the county chief was appearing before the Anyang' Nyong'o-led committee to answer to audit queries from the 2013-2014 financial year.

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Among the issues the auditor general raised were payments of penalties on late payment income tax in 2013, imprests claimed by county government officials, payment of inherited debts from the defunct local authorities, use of funds meant for financing the Rift Valley General Hospital and purchase of road construction equipment.

Conditional Grant

But the governor sought to clarify the matters as raised by the auditor.

On financing the hospital, the committee wanted to know why a conditional grant of Sh390 million was diverted to smaller health facilities instead of doing the work it was meant for, like construction of a maternity wing at the county's largest hospital.

Mbugua said the money was used for remuneration of health workers and could be accounted for.

The committee said there was dire need to strengthen laws to ensure money given as conditional grants is not diverted.

Recovery of imprests was also another key concern with the committee saying the county government took too long (from 2013 to 2015) to recover the imprests that had been made.

Last week, civil society groups joined hundreds of residents in a peaceful demonstration to Town Hall where they presented a petition to the governor over the illegal hiring of 180 workers.

Nakuru Nakuru County Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua
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