Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi says a staff audit is ongoing to weed out 1,500 ghost workers from his administration, adding that there will be no recruitment of additional workforce.
The border devolved unit has a total of 6,000 workers.
Mr Abdullahi said the audit process is transparent and free from witch-hunt, maintaining that only competent staff will be retained after the thorough exercise.
“We have 6,000 county staff and 1,500 of them have been discovered to be ghost workers. I am not hiring anyone. The board is not recruiting anyone as well. We have frozen recruitment of new employees until we clean the workforce,” he said.
He made the announcement on Wednesday after flagging off a Sh69 million consignment of medical items procured by the county government from the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).
The governor argued that his administration will be able to effectively offer services by laying off ghost workers and taming the ballooning wage bill.
He added that after the exercise, enough resources will be available to boost development programs in the county.
“It is very unfair to have a doctor working tirelessly at the hospital for a whole day while another one is comfortably relaxing at home yet they both draw salaries as county employees. The process will be free and fair,” Mr Abdullahi said.
In his political campaigns, Mr Abdullahi had promised to deal with what he termed as a bloated workforce that required urgent reform to enable the prioritization of development programs.
“No one will be favoured in this exercise. Even if my own family member is found to be earning without working, they will be removed from the county workforce. If you are on the payroll, work, report to the office, earn rightfully, and no one will be victimized,” he said.
The county boss regretted that the county’s coffers were being drained by the huge percentage spent on recurrent expenditure.
He said 78 percent of the county’s budget is channeled to pay salaries to employees, leaving a paltry 22 percent for development purposes.
Mr Abdullahi also issued a stern warning to workers with forged or fake documents adding that they shall not be spared if found guilty once the audit ends.