By The Weekly Vision
Governor Simba Arati who is on record complaining of how he inherited a bloated workforce at Kisii county, has come out to expose alleged malpractices which led to the irregular hiring of staff by his predecessor Governor James Ongwae. Governor Arati, a close ally of ODM leader Raila Odinga claims that Mr Ongwae who has since defected from ODM to President William Ruto’s UDA knew exactly what he was doing when he irregularly hired extra county employees against the law.
The political war between Governor Arati and Ongwae began in the run-up to the last general elections after the governor discovered that his predecessor was secretly supporting the UDA candidate Ezekiel Machogu who is now the Cabinet Secretary for Education. Upon the declaration of William Ruto as president-elect, Mr Ongwae is said to have reached out to Mr Machogu to facilitate his defection from ODM to UDA and for further consideration for a state job. Mr Ongwae was first shortlisted as a member of the Parliamentary Service Commission. Unfortunately for him, he missed out when former Senator Machakos Johnson Muthama got the job instead, his second attempt to get a state job was when he was shortlisted for a CAS, and unfortunately for him again the slot President Ruto had reserved for Kisii region went to his former deputy Joash Maangi. He is now said to be lobbying for a diplomatic posting.
Political analysts now say that having missed all the past appointments, the only honourable thing for him to do is to retire honourably and support Governor Arati. The governor has in the past claimed that Mr Ongwae is sabotaging his development agenda and inciting MCAs against his leadership. The war between the two Kisii political kingpins has now led to Arati exposing Ongwae’s dirty past.
Records show that in the financial year 2021/2022 Ksh .300m was paid to 333 officers occupying positions in 8 departments in the County that were not in the approved staff establishment. Further, a review of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Database (IPPD) payroll for June 2022 and the approved departmental staff establishments, revealed that the officers were paid a total of Ksh. 25,024,040 in June 2022.
Further, it has been discovered that Ksh. 31,209,456 was incurred on 69 excess drivers who were paid, on average, total gross monthly salaries of Ksh. 2,600,788 per month. This was revealed through analysis of the IPPD payroll for June 2022 that the County had 170 drivers against 101 serviceable motor vehicles.
Records also reveal that in the payroll for June 2022, 79 officers had been on probation for more than 6 months, contrary to the provision of Section B.13(1) of the County Public Service Human Resource Manual which requires that an officer be put on probation for 6 months.