Ghost workers in Homa Bay pocket Sh300 million annually


Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga. At least 1, 786 people are irregularly employed in Homa Bay. 

Photo credit: George Odiwour | Nation Media Group

The Homa Bay County government has at least 1,786 irregular employees.

The questionable employees are also siphoning off up to Sh300 million from the county coffers every year.

These are the findings of a payroll and census audit conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), which revealed massive irregularities in the employment of workers by the county government over the past few years.

The audit report was presented to Governor Gladys Wanga and her deputy Oyugi Magwanga on Thursday afternoon by a PWC team led by Mr Simon Mutinda.

It revealed how some workers were being paid huge salaries but did not know their job descriptions, while others could not even identify their supervisors or colleagues.

Another group was found to have used fake academic qualifications to secure employment with bogus job classifications and promotions.

After taking office following last year's elections, Ms Wanga raised concerns about alleged loss of funds in the county government.

She wondered why some people were regularly employed by the devolved unit and receiving salaries, while county governments were struggling to raise funds for development.

Ms Wanga ordered a staff and payroll audit to weed out ghost workers and save her administration from financial losses.

It revealed that Ms Wanga's administration had 129 people on its payroll who were not registered with the district registrar's office.

Another 287 did not present their papers during the audit period.

Five hundred and fifty-six others did not have letters of appointment or deployment, but were stationed at various places of work.

The audit also revealed that 10 people were arrested with fake documents during the audit period, while 322 others are working but are not qualified for the positions they hold.

The 322 include those who presented various academic qualifications but could not be traced by the Kenya National Examination Council and various higher education institutions where they claimed to have studied.

Four hundred and seventy-nine employees were found to be receiving salaries but could not be traced by the Human Resources Department. 

Meanwhile, three minors were found to be employed by the county government.

Ms Wanga said the audit was conducted in three phases, with the first phase identifying workers who were genuinely employed. 

"The first phase of the exercise focused on verifying the county's employees and payroll data," she said. 

The other two phases include the establishment of a clear staff establishment for the county public service and the implementation of a human resource management system that will serve the people of Homa Bay.

"The two phases will be implemented after the full implementation of the report we received today," Ms Wanga said. 

She said she would also start taking administrative and legal action against staff found to be earning illegally.

Eliminating ghost workers from the county payroll is expected to save the county government up to Sh300 million.

 Ms Wanga said the money could be used for development projects in other areas.