Gov’t warns governors against sacking existing county staff

Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe in a past press briefing. [Photo/Courtesy]

The National Government, through its spokesperson Eric Kiraithe, has warned governors against sacking County Governments’ staff saying that the county chiefs should follow the law while doing so.

Speaking at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi County, Kiraithe says that the governors, upon assuming office were given clear guidelines on the process of hiring and dismissing staff consequently they should follow the law while making adjustments to the devolved units’ workforce.

“Civil servants can only be sacked through a legal process therefore all the governors should halt their purges since that is not the way forward, every employee has a right which should not be violated by anyone,” Kiraithe said.

He further notes that the incoming governors should not use their authority to reward their cronies at the expense of public officers.

“Governors should not harass public servants and replace them with those who supported them during the elections, it is unconstitutional,” added Kiraithe.

He added that the national government knows that county governments are autonomous and does not intend to undermine devolution.

This comes in the wake of purges by the newly elected governors with Tharaka Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki suspending 1,000 employees as part of his ‘staff rationalization’.

“The process is aimed at streamlining our workforce with a view to reducing the wage bill, which stands at 65 per cent of revenue,” the Governor said.

In Meru, Governor Kiraitu Murungi suspended senior county staff to pave way for financial and human resource audit.

Machakos Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua, also sent all finance officers on compulsory leave in attempt to gauge suitability levels of the staff.

“I have directed all financial officers – procurement, accountants, auditors and directors to proceed on immediate leave from today until further notice,” Governor Mutua said while addressing the press.

The recent developments are set to renew friction between the national government and county governments after Council of Governors Chairperson, Josphat Nanok, on August 16 said that the Devolution Ministry has no role in supervising County Governments.

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Story By Wahome Gitonga
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