Vihiga County hired 7 minors as staff: report - Daily Nation

Moses Akaranga hired 7 minors as staff, audit report shows

Thursday July 5 2018

Wilbur Ottichilo

Vihiga Governor Wilbur Ottichilo during the release of the report on July 4, 2018. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By DERICK LUVEGA
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Vihiga County government employed seven underage people as workers between 2013 and 2017, a staff audit released Wednesday reveals.

The audit conducted by the Directorate of Personnel Management in the Office of the President shows that seven people under the age of 18 were hired between 2013 and 2017.

SH25,000 PAY

The report, released by Mr Akaranga’s successor Wilber Ottichilo, says the minors were receiving salaries of over Sh25,000 a month.

According to the document, the minors changed details of vital documents to conceal their real ages and continued to earn using forged identities.

The underage staff also shared identity card numbers and bank accounts with adults.

Now the 100-page report recommends recovery of salaries paid to the minors and wants senior officials involved in the scandal to be punished.

"Any person employed while below 18 years will immediately be removed from the payroll,” Mr Ottichilo said in Mbale.

"Disciplinary action will be taken against the officers who signed their letters and put them on pay."

The report is a random sample that could point to rot in the system during the period under review.

It is not clear whether the taxes due on the young workers’ salaries were remitted to Kenya Revenue Authority because they were aged between 15 and 17.

Dr Ottichilo called for a staff audit immediately he took office and the exercise took 10 months.

CONTRACTS

The report also recommends that all the 100 permanent staff aged above 45 years be put on contract as their employment is against the Pension Act— a move that could put the governor on a new collision course with trade unions.

Only recently, nurses and doctors kept off work until their officials entered a deal to end the strike.

Further, all staff who have been on probation for over one year will be confirmed in line with Section 71 (1)of the County Government Act.

Dr Ottichilo said the audit identified some ghost workers on the county's payroll and recommended prosecution.

He said the implementation of the report will be pegged on Article 35 of the Constitution.

"With the directive (from the office of the president), we have highlighted a few key issues and recommended action to be taken by my government," said Dr Ottichilo.

The same report will be forwarded to the county assembly for adoption.

"By September 2017 during the audit, Vihiga County government had a staff establishment of 3,234 (against a recommendation of 1,200). The government has already embarked on the implementation of recommendations of this report," said Dr Ottichilo.

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