alexa Ottichilo sacks 307 in purge on illegally hired staff in Vihiga - Daily Nation

Ottichilo sacks 307 in purge on illegally hired staff in Vihiga

Thursday October 31 2019

Vihiga Governor Wilbur Ottichilo

Vihiga Governor Wilbur Ottichilo who has sacked 307 employees in the Health department in a purge on illegally hired staff. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DERICK LUVEGA
By DERICK LUVEGA
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Vihiga Governor Wilbur Ottichilo has sacked 307 employees in the Health department in a purge on illegally hired staff.

This follows findings of a report by a committee that was formed by the governor to investigate staffing in the Health department.

There has been a standoff in the sector over the hiring over the last five months.

Last month, the governor stopped the payment of salaries to all the newly recruited staff in the department and ordered investigations into the recruitment process.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

He said only 149 positions were available for filling but the county public service board, whose term ended in June this year, exceeded the number by 469.

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A 10-member team investigated the May 2019 employment and found that the affected staff were engaged irregularly by the board.

A new hiring board is yet to be inaugurated.

Releasing the report Thursday, Dr Ottichilo said the 307 employees are among the 518 staff who were appointed in different health cadres.

Of the 307 affected staff, 108 were offered employment without being shortlisted for interviews, 53 were employed without applying for the jobs but were interviewed and another 146 were handed direct employment, the governor said.

The affected staff will, however, be paid their dues for the time they worked.

SHORTLISTING

"Shortlisting is a critical stage in the recruitment process in public service. The salaries of the affected staff are being processed," said the governor.

Governor Ottichilo said the report will be presented to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for investigations to be done so that those found culpable are held to account.

The governor said the remaining 210 employees applied for the advertised positions and were shortlisted for employment.

They will be paid their five months’ salary arrears and their employment terms changed from permanent and pensionable to contract.

"This is in line with the public service policy and based on the fact that the county government does not have a pension scheme yet and there was therefore no basis for the county public service board engaging staff on permanent and pensionable terms," said the governor.

The county chief said he had extended the term of the committee that investigated the matter by 30 days to November 30 to allow all the affected staff to submit any complaints for consideration.