Some Mandera County Assembly members (MCAs) have said that it was illegal for Governor Ali Roba to cancel recent mass recruitment of county staff.
Led by Guticha MCa Mohamed Ibrahim Yussuf, the group argued that recruitment and disqualification of any county staff is the responsibility of the county public service board and not the governor and his executive members.
“Cancellation of the recruitment after candidates have been issued with appointment letters is very frustrating and has affected the population of Mandera,” said Mr Yussuf.
The MCAs termed the decision by Governor Roba announced on June 14 as inhumane and insensitive.
“That was a very hasty decision. It is illegal. A county government cabinet has no mandate to cancel any recruitment and the law is very clear on that,” he argued.
Mr Yussuf said Section 59 of the County Governments Act gives the public service board powers to hire and fire county staff.
“Several other sections in the same Act define the criteria to be followed by the board when appointing or dismissing a county staff,” he said.
The MCAs argued that section 75 of County Governments Act gives power to the public service board to investigate any irregularity in the process of recruiting county staff.
“The board has to investigate any irregularity in the process of staff hiring then table a report before revoking or cancelling the process but not the governor and his cabinet,” said Mr Yussuf.
The MCAs said they are deliberating on options to be taken against the county executive for what they maintained was illegal cancelling of job opportunities.
“We shall be deciding on between moving to a court of law and carrying out our own investigations at the assembly and make recommendations,” he said.
According to the MCAs, the decision has affected at least 700 people within and outside the county who had successfully applied for different jobs.
“We are getting reports that some youth are contemplating committing suicide while others are planning to join terror cells simply because their hopes have been dashed by this hasty decision,” Mr Yussuf said.
Darkale MCA Yakub Hassan Emoi denied reports that each of the 30 elected MCAs in Mandera was awarded five job slots in the cancelled hiring.
It was alleged that the 18 nominated MCAs were side-lined in the deal between the county executive and the elected MCAs.
“No single MCA was given any slot to bring his people but we lobbied for our people’s employment because that is what we are elected to do,” Mr Emoi said.
A document confiscated by Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives from a senior county officer has names of MCAs and the number of slots and positions given to each one of them.
EACC North Eastern Region Coordinator Philip Kagucia said the cancellation of the recruitment will not affect their investigations.
“That is like someone robbing a bank and coming back with the stolen cash to those looking for him. We are analysing what we collected before making our recommendations and forwarding them to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions,” said Mr Kagucia.