Kachapin's audit finds 2,300 ghost workers in West Pokot

West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin and his deputy Robert Komole at Kapenguria County Referral hospital

West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin and his deputy Robert Komole at Kapenguria County Referral hospital after an impromptu inspection visit on on September 2, 2022.

Photo credit: Oscar Kakai | Nation Media Group

More than 2,300 ghost workers have been drawing salaries from the West Pokot county government, an audit ordered by new Governor Simon Kachapin has revealed.

The audit is intended to weed out ghost workers who are draining millions in taxpayer funds.

It is expected to save millions of shillings pumped out annually by the county government to pay non-existent employees fraudulently placed on the payroll.

Illegal recruitment and promotions

It will also investigate illegal recruitment and promotions of workers, who are minting millions in salaries and allowances.

The news came a week after Governor Kachapin assumed office from his predecessor, Prof John Lonyanyapuo.

Governor Kachapin says the audit will help reduce the county’s high wage bill.

“There are 2,384 casual workers currently, up from 600 whom I employed during my term as the first governor. We have an additional 1,800. I started with no employees. Those working are only 1,000, where are [the] others?” he said.

He said preliminary results showed that there are many ghost workers.

“We shall target all devolved departments. This county is among those with bloated wage bills yet there are no drugs in hospitals. We shall surcharge them,” he said.

Impromptu inspection

Last week, the governor made an impromptu inspection visit to the Kapenguria County Referral Hospital and came face to face with deplorable conditions.

Mr Kachapin put corrupt county workers on notice, warning that he will not tolerate them.

“Some county workers are involved in politics. Some were even agents of political parties yet they are civil servants. That is the lowest a civil servant can go,” he said.

At the county referral hospital, the governor promised to improve the facility, as he warned about misuse of public resources.

“I want to assure residents that all hospitals have enough drugs. Residents complained about a shortage of drugs during campaigns. We have enough equipment and we want health workers to work in a good environment. We shall cooperate with health workers to ensure patients get good services,” he said.

Detained patients

He also waived the medical bills of patients who had been detained at hospitals over their inability to pay.

“We have one who has stayed in the hospital for six months from Baringo. We have given him fare to his home,” he said, promising to ensure proper mechanisms are put in place for procuring drugs.

“There should be value for money in the drugs, we must have accountability,” he said.

The governor has pledged to complete projects he initiated as West Pokot’s pioneer governor, which his successor and now predecessor, Prof Lonyagapuo, did not complete.

“These are public resources that should not be wasted because of political expediency,” he said.

Deputy Governor Robert Komole cautioned workers over tardiness.

“Yesterday we arrived ahead of many. We are hardworking people and we want everyone to follow suit,” he said.


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