The Kisii County Assembly has triumphed after a long battle with the besieged Public Service Board, which was finally sent home by the courts, and a new one has been appointed.
The new County Public Service Board was sworn in on Thursday November 16.
Kisii County government had been operating without a board for months after the former chairperson and members went to court to challenge their impeachment and subsequent appointment of a new board.
Kisii Governor Simba Arati, who was accompanied by his deputy Dr Robert Monda, witnessed the swearing in of the new six-member board at Gusii Stadium.
Mr Arati said running the county without a substantive board made it very difficult to run the devolved unit, especially on staff matters.
"Today, I will sleep peacefully because the board issue has caused me a lot of stress. If you notice, I have started losing my hair," said Mr Arati.
Mr Elijah Julius Obebo took the oath of office as Chairperson of the Board.
Mr Jared Omwoyo, Kefah Mose, Dr Sylus Ayunga, Ms Jane Nyabuto and Victoria Masese were sworn in as board members.
"What I am asking is that we already have a high wage bill in our county. We must not employ more people. Since I was sworn in, I have not employed the County Executives, Chief Officers, Advisors and the County Delivery Unit," said Mr Arati.
He explained that he had not sacked any staff, despite numerous allegations that he had sent some staff home and withheld salaries from others.
"Now is the time to fix our civil service system. Staff who are not working should be sent home. We want people to deliver," the county chief said.
The governor said the swearing in of the new board marked a new beginning for many staff who suffered under the previous regime.
"Now you do not need to know anyone to be promoted. Many deserving employees were stagnating in the same job group because they did not know anyone. Your hard work will now determine your promotion," Mr Arati said.
The Governor regretted that the Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers and instructors had waited too long to be confirmed on permanent and pensionable terms.
"Confirmation of teachers should be a priority when you start work," Mr Arati told the new board.
He said the teachers had been without pay for months due to the absence of a functioning board.
The governor told the new board members to be professional and honest, warning that intimidation and threats from naysayers would be the order of the day.
"There will be an uproar, but do not look back, be very firm, just do your work faithfully and honestly. You will make enemies who will even want to kill you, but concentrate on your work," said Governor Arati.
He asked the new board to weed out existing ghost workers and ordered a clean-up of the payroll to ensure that only staff with genuine qualifications were working in the devolved unit.
He said a biometric system would be installed to help record the attendance of workers through the use of staff logs in and out of all departments in the county.
The MCAs, led by Assembly Speaker Dr Philip Nyanumba, said they would not hesitate to impeach the new board members if they failed to deliver on their mandate.
"We did not ask any of you for a single cent to approve your names. So we do not want to hear stories of corruption in the new board," said Dr Nyanumba.