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January 19, 2019

Otichillo’s plan to sack 3,000 Vihiga county workers opposed

VIHIGA COUNTY Assembly Public and Administration committee conducting its sitting on Wednesday.
VIHIGA COUNTY Assembly Public and Administration committee conducting its sitting on Wednesday.

The Vihiga County Assembly Committee on Public Administration has opposed the move by Governor Wilbur Otichillo to sack more than 3,000 county workers.

On Wednesday, the committee summoned county secretary Francis Ominde, chief of staff Noah Okaya, Public Service executive Pamela Kimwele, Vihiga county attorney Alex Amasakha and human resource director Salome Omulele to discuss the matter.

The committee wanted to know why the county government is firing workers even before the directorate of personnel management concludes its findings.

Too much spent on salaries

On his call to the directorate to conduct the audit last year, Otichillo said more than 80 per cent of budget from the exchequer pays salaries of the bloated work force. Wodanga MCA Vincent Atsiaya said the county is at risk of entering a court battle with the fired workers. He said the county should find a lasting solution for the youth who are now jobless.

The workers salaries were included in the budget until June, so there was no need to fire them. Atsiaya said Vihiga Refferal Hosipital does not have adequate security after reinforcement officers were dismissed. The rep asked who will keep towns in the county clean after all the casuals contracts have been terminated.

The county attorney said, “If the Public Service department had sought the input of our office we would not be in this situation.”

Audit of county staff

The committee sought to know who invited the directorate of personnel management to audit county staff and how much it will cost the county government. The committee also wanted to know why the county government was not renewing contracts and how far it had gone with gratuity cash for those whose contract had been terminated.

So far, about 1800 workers have been fired and more are to folow. The chief of staff is believed to be behind the sacking.

He skipped the session because he travelled with governor Otichillo to Nairobi. Committee chairperson Gladys Analo said she will not rest until the county government gives a clear explanation on the sacking.

The directorate of personnel management allegedly did not charge the county for conducting the audit other than allowances for those doing the audit.

The audit is yet to be completed.

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