The issue of ghost workers in public service has been creeping up many times. It is not surprising that acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has sought to address the problem, just as some of his predecessors did.
The CS has indicated that funds for salaries will now be allocated only to workers whose details are loaded on to the core payroll system, which should eliminate the possibility of paying workers who are no longer in service.
Corrupt officials are said to be claiming salaries of the deceased, retirees and those who have deserted duty.
It is perplexing that the menace has not been dealt with conclusively. In 2014, an audit revealed that taxpayers were losing more than Sh1.8 billion annually in salary payments to non-existent workers.
Yet, the solution to ghost workers should be a really simple one — getting rid of corruption. Rogue managers could easily find a way around the system. Notwithstanding the corruption, Treasury’s move is helpful. Going forward, the government should be proactive to handle the issue in a way it will not recur.