Two senior managers in Nyamira arrested as staff audit begins


Police in Nyamira have arrested two senior county government managers as Governor Amos Nyaribo announced the launch of a staff audit to clean up the devolved authority's payroll.

Photo credit: File

Police in Nyamira have arrested two senior county government managers as Governor Amos Nyaribo announced the launch of a staff audit to clean up the devolved authority's payroll. 

The officials, from the human resources and the payroll offices, face charges of abuse of office.

Nyamira Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss Paul Makonge said the suspects face a plethora of criminal charges relating to a range of activities that allegedly led to the loss of public funds through dubious means.

"The county treasury officials have been on our radar for about two years following allegations of unauthorised employment of civil servants and theft of public funds through fraud and ghost employment," said Mr Makonge.

The arrests took place on Friday, with the two accused on various dates between October 4, 2021, and unknown dates in October 2022, at Nyamira County government offices, where they, together with others, with intent to deceive/mislead and without lawful authority or excuse, made false documents purporting to be those of genuine employees employed by the county public authority.

The two officials were further accused of on October 1, 2021, at their respective county offices, being persons employed in the public service, abused the authority of their offices by arbitrarily adding some persons to the list of employees without following employment procedures.

The two were accused of illegally recruiting a civil engineer and a senior inspector to the Nyamira County payroll without going through the Public Service Commission.  

Meanwhile, Mr Nyaribo has announced the commencement of a staff audit to ascertain the integrity of the county's employment register.

He said the audit would, among other things, look into irregular promotions and employment in the county.

Making the announcements at the county's referral hospital, Mr Nyaribo said there would be no witch-hunt in the whole exercise as the affected employees would be given the opportunity to defend themselves.

Recently, the county government received a comprehensive report from the Ministry of Public Service management on the human resource audit of the public service, which contained recommendations that the governor is acting on.

"There will be no witch-hunt in the whole exercise as the move is aimed at reducing the wage bill, which is 50 per cent instead of 35 per cent as recommended by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission," he said.

He said the money recovered from the payroll clean-up would go to development projects.

Mr Nyaribo said employees who had been irregularly promoted would not be dismissed but would be placed in the job groups they deserve.

"The irregular promotions have demoralised some hard-working employees whose juniors are earning more than them," the governor said.

He said some employees had received as many as three promotions in a single year, which was against government policy.

The governor said those who got irregular promotions would be penalised.

"We will recover the extra salary from the affected workers at a negotiated rate," he said.

The county chief said those affected had been receiving letters since May 25.

Mr Nyaribo extended an olive branch to the affected workers to cooperate with the officials who are carrying out the payroll cleansing, failing which they will face the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

He, however, commended the county staff for their commitment to service delivery despite the salary delays.

He also said he would introduce a performance management system to pay staff according to their input or output.

"Whether you voted for me or not doesn't matter now. Let us work together for the betterment of our county," Mr Nyaribo told the workers.

He promised to improve their working conditions by providing social benefits such as opening canteens in their workplaces.