Machakos: Workers edgy as MCAs endorse removal of four from public service board

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti.

Photo credit: Pius Maundu | Nation Media Group

Anxiety has gripped some Machakos County workers after the assembly moved to sack four members of the County Public Service Board over allegations of abuse of office.

The fate of the chairman of the staffing body, Kioko Luka, secretary Onesmus Muia and members Cecilia Mbinya and Stella Nduku now lies in the hands of the governor after ward representatives endorsed a motion to remove them from office.

In the motion moved by assembly Majority Leader Nicholas Nzioka, who is the Machakos Central ward rep, MCAs accuse Mr Luka and Mr Muia of serious violations of the Constitution, gross misconduct and incompetence.

They accuse Ms Mbinya and Ms Nduku of serious violations of the Constitution and gross misconduct. In a charged assembly session, MCAs took turns to sensationally accuse the four officials of bribery, favouritism and demanding sexual favours from job seekers.

“They have been unable to advise the county assembly on the size of the county workforce every year as required by law to guide the budgeting process,” assembly Deputy Speaker and Ekalakala/Ikaatini MCA Stephen Nzue told reporters on Tuesday.

“We have formed a select committee which has 10 days to probe the board members and others and report back to the assembly, which will hand the report to the governor to appropriate action.” 

Mr Luka refused to be drawn into commenting on the issues raised by ward representatives. But he acknowledged that the five-member board had been rocked by cracks as he expressed optimism that an amicable solution will be found.

“I don't want to comment on the matter because we are currently in talks with the governor's people. We are keen on ensuring that peace prevails in Machakos. I don't want to be held responsible for the collapse of the ongoing talks,” he told the Nation.

The board, which hired county staff, has been thrown into a spin after Governor Wavinya Ndeti moved to streamline the county workforce. She has vowed to sack dozens of civil servants said to have been hired irregularly by the previous administration. 

In an October 31 directive, Ms Ndeti nullified “all recruitments and promotions done between August 1, 2021 and October 30, 2022 alongside their respective financial benefits”.

She also stopped the salaries of employees “who may be drawing salaries from both the county government and the national government”.

Although Ms Ndeti explained that the workforce shakeup was meant to control the county’s ballooning wage bill, her critics feel the assembly is working at her behest to create opportunities for her cronies.