Kiraitu blames bloated Sh7bn wage bill on 1,783 ghost staff

Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi receives county staff Sacco certificate as its patron from county executive for cooperatives Maingi Mugambi at Thiiri Centre, Meru on January 6, 2018
Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi receives county staff Sacco certificate as its patron from county executive for cooperatives Maingi Mugambi at Thiiri Centre, Meru on January 6, 2018

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi said the county has a bloated wage bill because it pays 1,783 ghost workers.

“Our wage bill is Sh7 billion and revenue is Sh9 billion. A headcount revealed 1,783 employees were absent. I believe many are ghost workers. There has been illegal, irregular and erratic recruitment, postings, disciplining, promotion and redeployment of staff,” he said.

Kiraitu spoke on Saturday during a staff meeting at Thiiri Centre, Imenti North.

He 500 workers were recruited and more than 600 promoted during last year’s campaign period.

“Sh40 million was paid to 10 members, subcounty and ward administrators as imprests between January and last August. Skills analysis show only 17 per cent of staff have university degrees. There is a serious skills mismatch and some senior staffers are performing duties they were not recruited for,” Kiraitu said.

The governor was referring to a preliminary human resource and financial audit report by Deloitte Consulting Ltd.

The official report and its recommendations will be released on January 15.

Kiraitu announced a three per cent interest rate for Meru County Staff Sacco.

“We are confronted with an ugly reality about staff. We inherited a bloated workforce with overlapping structures.

“We have incompetent, irresponsible, absent, lethargic, underpaid and demoralised staff, “ Kiraitu said.

The county chief said by end of October 2017, 5, 822 people were employed, among them 4, 601 are permanent and 1,030 are casuals.

“There has been illegal, irregular and erratic recruitment, postings, disciplining, promotion and redeployment of staff,” he said.

Kiraitu said he is surprised to learn the county has a workforce of 2,827 females compared to only 1, 776 male employees.

More than 2,000 employees are over 40 years and in regard, his administration will embark on recruiting youths in his government as they are energetic, better educated and more professionally qualified.

Kiraitu, however, said there will be no witch-hunt, punishment or victimisation of individuals during a payroll clean up and staff rationalisation.

He said the exercise will be done to streamline organisational structures and make staff more efficient in service delivery.