Kiraitu suspends over 20 top county officials

Kiraitu suspends over 20 top county officials

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has suspended acting county secretary, all county executives, chief officers, sub-County administrators, town administrators and ward administrators to pave way for an audit.

Addressing a presser after meeting the clergy in his Meru office, Governor Kiraitu who was flanked by his deputy Titus Ntuchiu and his wife Pricsilla Murungi said that the Auditor General will commence a financial audit and human resource audit.

The newly-sworn in county boss said the move will enable the Auditor General to carry out the business without interference, adding that the department directors will undertake the duties of the suspended officers.

“These measures are being taken to ensure that our county has a public service that is effective and efficient in its operations and service delivery. We shall also take an exercise to audit all the casual workers in the county to remove abuse of a system that has created many ghost workers and unnecessary idle capacity which has excessive strain on our budget,” said Kiraitu.

Similary, the County Public Service board chairman Patrick Mwambia, member Francis Atanasio Kithure who are facing charges of abuse of office have also not been spared.

The two are said to have been holding the office in defiance of a letter from the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission advising the former governor to suspend them from office after having been charged with criminal offenses.

“Our government will not tolerate this blatant impunity and disobedience of law. Theft of public resources and corruption will be severely dealt with by our government. I have therefore suspended the chairman and the other board member pending the outcome of the court case,” said Kiraitu.

The governor also wondered how KSh15million was being used monthly to pay casuals in a county said with over 5, 000 employees.

He added: “This is the beginning of our clean-up exercise . We have information about the rot in the procurement system in the county, the revenue boards and the corporations.”

Kiraitu also noted that a thorough audit of all the contractors and the revenue collection system will be done to seal the loopholes and ensure the county gets value for the money.

He hinted that some of the contractors had been paid for roads they had not done, a move he says may have been used to embezzle county allocation.

The governor reiterated that legal action will be taken against any contractor found to have colluded with the county government officials to loot public funds, insisting that they will be blacklisted from any future contracts with the county government.

However, he promised that all county staff will be treated fairly and professionally in accordance to the law saying there will be no witch hunt.

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Story By Martin Mwenda
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