Motion to kick out members of county hiring board tabled

The Elgeyo Marakwet County Public Service Board signpost. The offices are in Iten.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Members of the Elgeyo Marakwet County Public Service Board are facing imminent removal from office over questionable hiring, productivity and a high wage bill.

A motion to this effect was presented to ward reps, who will debate it next week. The bid comes less than three months before the August General Election.

The motion was tabled by Embobut Embolot Ward Representative Paul Kipyatich. He said the board was a disgrace to the county and members should be ejected from office. He accused its members of violating some provisions of the Constitution and the County Government Act.

“There is irregular hiring of workers, resulting in a huge and unsustainable wage bill. The board has completely disregarded staff productivity,” he said.

Such boards are headed by county secretaries and mainly handle human resource management functions, including staffing, capacity building, productivity and remuneration.

The board comprises a chairperson, at least three but not more than five members and a certified public secretary of good professional standing, nominated and appointed by the county governor with the approval of the county assembly. The person becomes the secretary of the board.

Members of the board can be removed from office on constitutional grounds, by a vote of not less than 75 per cent of all members of a county assembly.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly gate.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Staff audits

Mr Kipyatich, who tabled the motion on Wednesday, claimed the board had repeatedly failed to conduct proper staff audits and head counts as resolved and directed by the county assembly.

He also criticised the board for failing to address issues raised by the office of the Auditor-General in his report on 2018/2019 and the 2020 audit reports.

He alleged skewed recruitment of county staff, citing the recent chaotic recruitment of Early Child Development Education (ECDE) caregivers. The hiring was cancelled because of claims that the board was incompetent.

Incompetence

On May 11, Mr Paul Chemutut, Elgeyo Marakwet’s county secretary and head of the County Public Service Board, wrote to its secretary to cancel the recruitment of ECDE caregivers. The positions had been advertised on November 24, 2021.

“Due to the numerous complaints that have arisen out of this exercise, you are hereby advised to cancel the entire recruitment to safeguard the credibility of the recruitment processes,” read the letter.

Mr Kipyatich said the issues pointed to the incompetence of the board.

He wants the county assembly to start the process of removing the board members from office.

He also wants ward reps to resolve that the board suspend all recruitment and confirmation of officers until the matter is determined.

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