Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama has sent all senior payroll officers on compulsory leave as the county begins an audit of its workforce.
Among those sent on the three-month compulsory leave is the payroll manager Lewis Oburu. This comes as the county government embarks on weeding out irregularly employed staff.
Mr Nyagarama has also announced the termination of contracts for at least 500 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers by the end of May 2019.
“We realised there are more ECDE teachers than we need. In some schools, some of these teachers teach even in other classes. They are in excess,” said Mr Nyagarama.
TOO MANY TEACHERS
There are currently 1,351 ECDE teachers in the county and the governor says the number is too high.
“This is an administrative step. While this is a painful decision to take given that I value their services so much, the move we are taking is inevitable. Our county has the largest number of these teachers,” the governor added.
At the same time, all enforcement officers, senior and junior support staff have been asked to present themselves to a special team appointed by the governor at sub-county offices for verification and validation of their employment documents.
They have been given up to next week to do so.
“The payroll manager, Mr Lewis Oburu, and his other team members, among them James Nyagechanga, Ann Ontiri and Josephat Nyamweya, are directed to proceed on three months leave pending the audit of the payroll,” said Mr Nyagarama.
The payroll officers are to hand over county government properties in their possession to officers who have been identified and communicated to.
The latest report by the Auditor-General shows that in the 2017/2018 financial year, Nyamira County recruited 532 staff, most of whom were ECDE teachers under the department of education. Also employed were nurses under the department of Health.
Governor Nyagarama had earlier ordered a staff audit which was meant to align the skills of employees to their jobs and weed out those who did not meet the cut as regulations provide.
He said the audit will help in re-assessing the qualifications of each employee and also determine whether the local administration has a bloated workforce.
The county has been grappling with a ballooning wage bill which has eaten into the development vote head.
Residents have raised concerns that key projects are likely to stall due to lack funds.
Last month, Deputy Governor Amos Nyaribo wrote to the Public Service Board claiming that some employees were hired without due process being followed and called for the nullification of more than 400 positions.
“Whereas some of the recruits have already been included in the payroll, nobody admits openly to being involved in these processes including the Public Service Board, County Secretary and Directorate of Human Resource,” Mr Nyaribo said.
The cadres which are mostly affected are those of the support staff and enforcement officers.
Mr Nyaribo alleged that there had been unauthorised illegal employment being done secretly since the start of 2018.