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Counties

Vihiga reshuffles finance staff after laying off 800

Wilber Ottichilo
Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Vihiga government has reshuffled 45 senior staff in what Governor Wilber Ottichilo argues will improve services, coming in the wake of a damning report on staffing.

The redeployment mainly targeted at those involved in finances and moved officials from the local treasury, IFMIS and revenue departments.

Last week the governor terminated contracts of 800 staff, to cut costs, with the wage bill having risen to Sh200 million a month, nearly equivalent to the county’s annual revenue collections.

The county said it was targeting employees nearing retirement, ghost workers and those unfit for the jobs they are in.

On Wednesday, Dr Ottichilo published a report on staff audit conducted by the Directorate of Personnel Management that recommended that 100 senior staff aged 45 and above and who are on permanent and pensionable terms to be put on contract.

The governor argued their employment on permanent terms was untenable.

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

The report further says 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.

The report found that the county hired minors between 2015 and 2017 and paid them Sh25,000, which would be illegal under Kenyan labour laws.

County Secretary and Head of County Public Service Francis Ominde, told the Business Daily that the administration had shuffled officials in Finance and ICT “in order to streamline operations in the county.”

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