Politics and policy

City Hall’s audit exposes 2,260 fake workers in payroll

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Nairobi City County workers protest outside Nation Centre as their strike over salary increment entered the second day yesterday. A payroll audit has revealed the existence of ghost workers. Photo/Salaton Njau

Nairobi City County workers protest outside Nation Centre as their strike over salary increment entered the second day yesterday. A payroll audit has revealed the existence of ghost workers. Photo/Salaton Njau 

By SIMON CIURI and OKUTTAH MARK

Posted  Thursday, September 5  2013 at  21:14

In Summary

  • A workers’ headcount in August found that the county government inherited 2,260 fake employees from its predecessor the Nairobi City Council.
  • A large segment of the ghost workers is made of serving employees who have conspired with human resource and accounts department officials to earn multiple salaries through multiple entries in the payroll.
  • There are also a large number of retired or deceased employees in the payroll who continue to draw salaries from the county government every month. A small number of the ghost workers have also been found to be living abroad.
  • The Kenya Union of County Government Workers dismissed the findings as untrue.
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The Nairobi County government is losing more than Sh100 million every month in salaries paid to more than 2,000 ghost workers, an audit of City Hall’s payroll has revealed.

A workers’ headcount in August found that the county government inherited 2,260 fake employees from its predecessor the Nairobi City Council — adding to the burden of a huge wage bill that is at the centre of a workers strike since Monday.   

A large segment of the ghost workers is made of serving employees who have conspired with human resource and accounts department officials to earn multiple salaries through multiple entries in the payroll.

The audit found that some workers appear on the payroll up to five times using the same names but different identity card numbers.

There are also a large number of retired or deceased employees in the payroll who continue to draw salaries from the county government every month.

A small number of the ghost workers have also been found to be living abroad.

“Some of the said employees live in Dubai, some are musicians while others are registered more than three times on the pay roll,” said Governor Evans Kidero.

The Kenya Union of County Government Workers dismissed the findings as untrue.

Dr Kidero said the process of right-sizing City Hall’s workforce to the required level of 5,000 had started with the clean-up of the payroll and the removal of ghost workers.

“We will then move to organisation design and job evaluation to match each position with the right skills and send misplaced employees back to the central government as required by law,” he said.

The governor maintained that it is only upon completion of the exercise that the Nairobi county government will pay its staff better based on performance.

The county government workforce remains largely made up of former city council employees, whose transfer to the national government is allowed under the Devolution Act to pave the way for fresh recruitment.

The revelation of the existence of a large number of ghost employees came as 3,000 Nairobi county employees continued with a strike that began on Monday demanding higher pay.

Reports indicated that some 500 City Hall employees, including two union officials, were summarily dismissed for taking part in the strike.

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