Gender Chief Administrative Secretary Beatrice Elachi has broken her silence in an ongoing investigation into her conduct as Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly, saying she broke no law in promoting staff.
Ms Elachi has pointed an accusing finger at unnamed county officials that she says want to tarnish her name.
She said she only implemented what had already been agreed upon years before she joined City Hall in 2018. She says she found an assembly where staff had not been promoted since 2013 and were in a career progression crisis.
"This is something that started way before I joined the assembly. The promotions began during the time of the late Alex Magelo. I only came to implement and we made sure we followed all due processes," she said.
"I promoted everyone because since 2013 they hadn't promoted any staff and there was a crisis...I did something that they were supposed to do even before I came."
Last week, Nairobi County acting clerk Adah Onyango told the assembly's Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that the promotions were made irregularly and outside the provisions of the law.
Ms Onyango alleged that the Nairobi County Assembly Service Board, which Ms Elachi chaired in her capacity as Speaker, went on an illegal venture and promoted officers in a skewed manner, against public service regulations.
She also said the board created job scales beyond what is required by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC). This resulted in some officers being promoted to non-existent positions or roles that had not been budgeted for, leading to expenditures in programmes that had not been approved or budgeted for.
But Ms Elachi has defended herself, saying she borrowed an organisational structure used by the Senate and the Kiambu County Assembly.
"The structure that was there was a corporate one. You can't do a corporate structure in a public institution. It wouldn't have worked," she said.
Moreover, she said, the report containing the structure was tabled on the floor of the House and adopted.
"Those with issues would have questioned it then but nothing of the sort happened. We have the report and the Hansard to that effect," she said.
"We requested resources and it was put in the budget. They are not fighting for anything else but for money for foreign travels."
She also said she did not introduce any new job scales but only made sure that every employee was correctly graded.
"You found that (people) with a diploma, degree and PhD were in the same scale and the boss of all of them had a diploma yet they were employed at the same time. It didn't make sense. So, as the board, we regularised and ensured that every staff was in the right scale," she said.
On whether SRC was kept abreast of the organisational structure review, Ms Elachi said they shared the report with the agency and its officials agreed to it.
"I am not mad. I know the law,” she said.
But she said SRC froze promotions in the county assembly until they finished evaluating the 2020 promotions.
"I don't know why the current board (is promoting staff) yet that evaluation process is not over yet,” she said.