Tharaka-Nithi County has removed more than 300 ghost workers from its payroll in the last one month, Governor Samuel Ragwa has said.
The workers have one month to prove how they got their jobs by providing all the necessary documents to a committee handling the matter.
The Health department is the most affected with salaries of over 100 workers having been stopped.
Mr Ragwa, who spoke to the Nation by phone on Tuesday, said the workers were identified after a headcount conducted in September.
“We want to clean up our payroll by eliminating all employees who cannot prove beyond doubt how they got their jobs,” said Mr Ragwa.
He said those who will not have proved their authenticity by the end of the one-month ultimatum will be dismissed while those who do will be reinstated.
The governor said they are in the process of digitising all employees’ data for accountability and ease of promotions and demotions.
Mr Ragwa said the exercise does not target any individual or group but is aimed at ensuring the county does not carelessly lose public funds.
“I will make sure that no one will maliciously lose the job, but those who fail to provide the necessary documents will have to go home,” reiterated the governor.
Health Chief Officer Walter Mugambi said some of the health workers could not provide their employment documents while others could not be found at their working stations.
“It is surprising that some people are in the payroll and are allocated duties but are working in other counties,” said Mr Mugambi.
He said he is speeding up the matter in his docket to avoid a crisis.
“I am ensuring that the over 100 health workers submit their documents by tomorrow to avoid a crisis,” he said.
But Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) Tharaka-Nithi branch secretary Kenneth Micheni said if the 100 health workers will not have been paid by Friday, they will boycott work.
“We have already written a strike notice demanding payment of all our members by Friday after which we will all down tools and resume when everyone is paid,” said Mr Micheni.
He accused the county of conducting the exercise in a malicious way saying some of those affected worked with the national government before devolution.
“Some of us have worked for more than 10 years under the national government but we are now asked to prove how we qualified for the job,” he said.