A showdown is looming in most Rift Valley counties over the fate of staff as new governors take charge.
Nandi and West Pokot governors have laid off staff days after taking oath of office. West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo, has for instance, declared that he will lay off some 600 casual workers.
Another batch of 66 top officers, including County Executive Members have also been put on special leave. Prof Lonyangapuo said the lay offs were necessary to tame the ballooning wage bill and a crackdown of ghost workers in accordance with the law.
“Besides the special leave, we have requested the Auditor General to conduct a financial and human resource audit,” he said.
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang has, on the other hand, suspended all senior Health and Sanitation officers to pave way for what he terms an audit into the department’s operations and funds use.
In a press release, the county boss suspended top administrators including Executive (CEC) Mathew Rotich, Chief Officer Edward Serem and County Director of Health Daniel Kemboi.
All county and sub-county hospital committees and Health Management Boards were also dissolved. “All senior health officials are hereby suspended to pave way for an audit into funds loss,” said the governor.
According to sources within the Health department, millions of shillings meant for National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cannot be accounted for.
“We are aware that the main health facility has been without power connectivity due to unpaid bills putting lives of patients at risk, it is important that the governor did act,” said a source.
Nandi Senator-elect Kiprotich Cherargei lauded the governor’s move saying for years, there has been a crisis in the health sector.
Kanu and Moi dynasty survive Jubilee wave
“As leaders we are guided by law to discharge duties without favour. We cannot condone incompetent officials who cannot assure citizens of availability of drugs because they cannot perform,” he noted.
Cherargei called on governors to ensure that there is an audit of public projects in order to ascertain its status.
Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia and Elgeyo Marakwet counties have already placed an advertisement of CEC, and Chief Officer’s positions. Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago said he will be keen on performance. “Whoever feels is not ready to work should just leave us early enough. I will not let anyone undermine my quest to have a legacy,” he said.
Kapseret MP-elect Oscar Sudi has urged governors to reign on incompetent staff.