700 sacked after contracts expire as county conducts staff headcount

Sign post at Nandi County Government headquarters

Sign post at Nandi County Government headquarters.

Photo credit: Tom Matoke | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Governor Sang already sent members of the County Executive Committee and chief officers on a 45-day forced leave
  • The governor sought the list of contract workers under permanent and pensionable terms between 2019 and this year and directed departmental heads to release casual workers

The Nandi County government has sacked 700 employees whose contracts had expired, as a headcount continues to establish the actual workforce.

The hiring of new staff has also been frozen.

The measures are meant to address the wage bill, which stands at 52 percent of expenditure against the recommended 35 percent.

The Nandi County Assembly has protested about the high wage bill over the last five years and demanded that Governor Stephen Sang reduce it.

Mr Sang sent members of the County Executive Committee and chief officers on a 45-day forced leave after claims that some of the officials were involved in irregularities.

Mr Sang demanded files and documents on contract employees. 

He also sought a list of contract workers who were absorbed under permanent and pensionable terms between 2019 and this year.

Nation.Africa established that directors and administrators in various departments were directed to release casual workers.

Casual workers at health centres were ordered to leave by October 1.

After being sworn in for his second term in August, Governor Sang promised to get rid of employees that he claimed were on the payroll illegally. 

Records from the assembly show the Finance department spent over Sh330 million on employee salaries every month, meaning a wage bill of 52 percent of annual expenditures. 

The National Treasury requires county governments to spend no more than 35 percent of revenues on staff salaries, but most counties have bloated workforces and overshoot their recurrent expenditures. 

Last year, County Secretary Francis Sang told the assembly that the workforce stood at 5,107, promising that the number would be reduced. 

In a September 26, 2022 internal memo, Dr Sang directed the human resources department to produce a list of employees recruited since 2019 and facilitate a verification process.

He said the county was "verifying the human resources composition and current status".

The audit will fast-track the identification of legally recruited employees.

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