At least 800 Vihia County employees are expected to have their contracts terminated on March 31 as Governor Wilber Ottichilo fights to tame high wage bill.
Some staff members have been told their contracts will not be renewed. Already some 2,000 casuals have been shown the door since August last year as Dr Ottichilo plans to trim the work force from the current 5,000 to the required 1,200.
The massive layoffs are happening against an advisory by the county assembly asking the executive to stop the sackings until after an audit report by the directorate of human personnel is out.
“We currently have over 5,000 staff. This is above the ceiling of 1,200 set by defunct Transitional Authority. We are going to cut on the staff and invest more in development,” Dr Ottichilo said.
As the layoff is fast approaching, a senior cleric in the county, Archbishop John Chabuga of the African Divine Church (ADC), faulted the county government, saying the sacking would be counterproductive.
Archbishop Chabuga asked the governor to explore other ways of improving the economy of the poverty-stricken rural county to create more job opportunities for the residents.
Poverty levels in the county stands at 62 per cent, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
Speaking during a Sunday service in Sabatia, the cleric said “the county’s leadership should stop sacking people. There will come a time when you (Governor Ottichilo) will need the support of the people you are sacking now.”