Via Weekly Citizen
Members of Vihiga county assembly were shocked that dead people still earn from Vihiga county payroll as grilling for the executive who were involved in irregular employment of health staff that eventually led to sacking of over 308 medics by governor Wilber Ottichilo commence.
County human resource director Millicent Akinyi, CECM in-charge of health Amos Kutwa and chief officer public health Arnold Mamadi appeared before the assembly ad hoc committee to shed light on what led to irregular employment of health staff.
Public service county minister Paul Mbuni and acting county secretary Philip Gavuna who are among the prime suspects in the mess skipped grilling claiming that they were busy.
During the interrogation, the committee was shocked when the health department gave contracting figures of total health staff with the numbers given by the HR director Akinyi who gave a total number of 1892 staff.
According to CEC health Kutwa when asked total number of staff working in the health department, he disclosed that they have 798 staff. He said initially, the health department had 822 workers when Ottichilo took over but the numbers reduced to 798 after some staff died, others retired, while others had resigned.
“In the health department, we have a total of 798 staff after the figures reduced from 822. Some staff had retired and some had died while some had resigned,” said Kutwa.
The assembly wondered where the HR director Akinyi had drawn the huge figure of 1892 workers.
The committee was also shocked that there are some health staff that are still on the county payroll earning salaries and yet they have died or some have retired and others left the county.
It was revealed that the county department of health has 1094 ghost workers earning from the county coffers with full protection of the county public service and administration, county HR director and acting county secretary.
The HR director was not able to convince the committee why some people are appearing on the county payroll and yet they had died, some have retired and others have left the county.
Efforts by Governor Ottichilo of fighting ghost workers in the county are proving fruitless as the numbers of ghost workers earning from county coffers continue to swell.
It is said there is a cartel after the county payroll under payroll manager Adeline M’maitsi who are sneaking ghost workers on the county payroll to fleece the county.
Ottichilo is fighting with huge county wage bill as his staff who brags how they have pocketed him continue to draw millions of shillings from the county coffers.
According to the sources, the department of health and trade have huge numbers of ghost workers where the county loses Sh100 million monthly to pay the ghost staff.
It is said the county payroll is jealously protected by the cartels to ensure their deal is not unearthed but thanks to assembly request of the county payroll.
A few months ago, some of the county staff working in the payroll section were arrested for sneaking ghost workers on the payroll but they have not been prosecuted.
Sources disclosed that those arrested threatened to spill the beans if prosecuted forcing the major culprits to stop preferring charges against them.
Mbuni, Gavuna and Akinyi who fumed fire when the junior officers were arrested have kept silence fearing their deals can be exposed.
All eyes are focused on Governor Ottichilo to see how he will handle the culprits who are messing the county left, right and centre without caring.
Ottichilo who had problems in answering the audit queries by the senate is having his political star fading every day and night because of the mess being made by his junior lieutenants.
Ottichilo was on record when he sacked his corrupt CDF staff when he was Emuhaya MP, something that changed the game and saw him ranked best performing MP in the country.
Vihiga residents want him to use the same rod by sending home those bragging to be his super ministers.
The county HR failed to give satisfying answers to the committee why ghost workers still exist on the county health payroll.
The committee also asked how the department of HR and county public service hired over 500 medical staff instead of the required 149 staff.
This comes after members of Vihiga county assembly asked the governor to suspend public service and health CECs to pave way for investigations into alleged irregularities in hiring of health workers in the county.
The MCAs led by leader of majority Moses Opole wants Ottichilo to crack the whip on the officers involved irregular hiring of the health staff by sending them on compulsory leave.
The public service committee chair Gladys Analo said its total injustice for the culprits who messed up the entire process of hiring health workers to continue holding their offices.
The house said the stay of the two CECs and their chief officers in the office will interfere with investigations.