A Parliamentary committee plans to summon Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi to explain why his administration laid off 176 county staff last week.
Senate Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations Chairman John Kinyua said the move by County Public Service Board (CPSB) to declare some staff redundant was ill-advised.
Mr Kinyua accused the governor of ''regularly sacking workers and derailing rolling out of development projects at the grassroots''.
“As Senate Committee, we will summon him [the governor] to explain to us whether whatever he is doing is enshrined in law. We will not allow our county to be managed in that manner,” Mr Kinyua said at Nanyuki PCEA Church on Sunday.
“Mr Muriithi started by throwing small-scale traders out of town, then he proceeded to the health sector where he sacked our doctors. Now he has sacked some staff claiming that they are computer illiterate. Does a sweeper require computer skills to be able to execute his or her work?” he asked.
The Laikipia senator said Senate has been championing disbursement of more resources from the national government to the counties for effective service delivery.
“We have been pushing for allocation of more funds especially here in Laikipia but, as you can see, our roads are dilapidated and the healthcare sector is deteriorating. We will not relent in demanding proper service delivery to our people,” Mr Kinyua said.
Last Thursday, Governor Muriithi said his administration targets to save Sh1.143 billion after removing 176 staff from the county payroll.
He vowed to continue scouting for more avenues of drawing additional resources for development.
“We cannot continue paying wages and salaries to people who have no real work that they are doing in the organisation. We need more money for development so that what we do as a government is commensurate with the expectations of the citizens,” he said.
“If they feel aggrieved by this measure, they can seek legal redress. We are all entitled to fundamental rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution. We are ready for any eventuality henceforth,” the governor said.
Mr Muriithi insisted the move was meant to reduce the wage bill so as to increase resources for development.
“The redundancy has affected 172 staff and this will release Sh1.143 billion from wages and salaries over the medium term. We will use the funds for rehabilitating our roads, equipping our hospitals and rolling out other key development projects,” Mr Muriithi said.
Mr Muriithi said his administration has embraced technology and this has made operations efficient.
"We no longer need dozens of messengers, since we move files electronically. The nature of filing has changed. The nature of clerical work has changed from manual to electronic," he said.
“All staff must have computer skills so we no longer have typing pools and mobile phones have greatly reduced the reliance on land lines," Mr Muriithi added.
The staff audit process was conducted by the CPSB between June 24 and August 17 last year at Nanyuki, Rumuruti, Nyahururu and Doldol towns.
County Secretary Karanja Njora said the administration's top leadership risked being jailed for failing to comply with the Public Finance Management Act 2012 which stipulates a wage bill ceiling of 35 per cent.
“The process of identifying these employees was conducted in accordance to the law, the principle of fairness and in a humane manner. The identified staff will be trained, counselled and given a good send-off package to facilitate them begin a new life," he added.
The axed workers are part of 3,179 employees drawn from 32 of the country’s ethnic communities. The county spends Sh190.8 million per month on staff emoluments.