Siaya county government says new staff will be on board soon

Siaya governor James Orengo. The county government is facing a major employment scandal.

Photo credit: Kassim Adinasi | Nation Media Group.

Siaya County government has asked for patience from staff who were recruited in May with genuine letters of employment, noting that the absorption of new staff is a process as the row over the recruitment of excess staff continues.

County secretary Joseph Ogutu told the Nation that the onboarding of new staff goes through various stages before they are assigned duties and subsequently placed on the payroll.

"The absorption of new staff is a process that goes through stages," Mr Ogutu told Nation.Africa in the wake of concerns over the over-recruitment of staff by the county civil service.

The administration has also allayed fears that those who have gone through the required processes and secured letters of employment are not being considered.

"We are aware of the concerns that have been raised about the recent recruitment of staff and we are sensitive to this and will do everything possible to regularise their employment," said a senior official.

He pointed out that the executive will sit with the board and conduct an analysis of the recruitments with a view to regularising the employment of those with genuine cases.

The county, however, fired a warning shot at those with fake employment letters, saying the administration would not hesitate to take legal action against such culprits.

"There are those who have lifted the employment letters and added their names, but they have never gone through the legal application process, been interviewed and issued such letters. We will not spare them the legal process," said a statement from the administration.

There have been concerns over the over-recruitment of staff and a section of the County Executive Committee Members (CECMs) and Chief Officers have written to CPSB Acting Chief Executive Officer Wilfred Nyagudi, Governor James Orengo and the Director of Human Resource Management expressing concern over the impasse and seeking guidance on the best way to deal with the situation.

Several staff who received their appointment letters in May are yet to report to work more than three months after being recruited, with various departments seeking guidance from the authorities on how to deal with the situation.

On July 10, 2023, the CEC for Commerce, Grace Agola, wrote to the Governor Orengo, expressing concern about irregularities in her department over the recruitment of staff.

"...note that the number of recruits required by the department was specific to eleven people, but the department has noted with concern that the appointment letters from the Public Service Board have exceeded the numbers with an additional nine people who were not part of the budget allocation," the official wrote.

In her letter, Ms Agola told Mr Orengo that she hoped the ministry would get proper direction on the way forward for the additional staff "whose budget line is yet to be created due to the already fixed departmental seal", hoping for further direction.

The following day, July 11, 2023, the CEC for Roads, Mr George Nying'iro, also wrote to the Director of Human Resource Management, in a letter described as a "request for clarification on new recruits".

"We are pleased to inform you that the Ministry of Works, Roads, Energy and Transport has so far received 13 technical officers in various capacities. It is worth noting that the number received exceeds the advertised positions," Mr Nying'iro wrote.

A week later, on July 21, the Acting Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Dr Erick Otieno, also wrote to Mr Nyagudi, the CPSB CEO, highlighting several anomalies in the recent recruitment of staff in the department.

In his letter, Dr Otieno says some of the recruits do not have the requisite skills needed in the technical department, while others have been recruited but do not have the right qualifications in the field.

"Others have been recruited at levels below their qualifications, while others are over-qualified and should be regraded at the level of their qualifications, while in some grades more people have been recruited than the approved and advertised positions and vice versa," the official said.