Lamu County workers who engage in corruption and then rush to form "solidarity groups" to defend their actions will be fired immediately and prosecuted, Governor Fatim Twaha has warned.
Governor Twaha issued the warning on Tuesday, while noting that he was aware of the existence of cartels in various departments.
Mr Twaha said the cartels are ready to conceal the crimes and defend their members against allegations of graft.
“I am alert ... my administration will not entertain corruption among county staff. We have people using their positions to steal from the county," he said in an address to the public at the Mokowe county headquarters.
"I am aware that these individuals have a tendency to form defence or solidarity groups so that when one of them is accused, he or she goes running to the group for support. They work together to conceal their corrupt dealings. I want to make it clear that I am personally going to fire you and anybody who stands for corruption. We can’t have such people working for Lamu."
He also warned that those found defending corrupt individuals will also face the sack.
Mr Twaha further noted that his administration will not tolerate loss of public money through dishonest people, whose goal is to fleece Lamu and hamper development.
The county chief also wants lost funds and assets recovered - he said the county lost millions of shillings under the administration of his predecessor Issa Timamy.
Mr Twaha cited the existence of 'ghost' workers in the county payroll, noting they make matters worse.
He regretted that large sums of money are paid to unknown people for non-existent jobs, putting a strain on finances.
Therefore, he said, the county will monitor those on its payroll. It is finalising the scrutiny of workers and their records before renewing their contracts, a step aimed at weeding out the 'ghosts'.
Governor Twaha swore to solve this problem before any contracts are signed.
“We have ascertained the existence of ghost workers who have amassed cash in salaries for no work done. At the moment, we are trying to sift through records to find out who these ghost workers are," he said.
"Our officials are on the right track. It is only after records are cleared that we will renew expired contracts. All affected staff should bear with us as we deal with this. Hopefully by close of November we will be clear."