• The wage bill had ballooned from Sh1.5 billion in 2017 to Sh4.1 billion currently.
• In the 2019-20 budget estimates, a lot of funds were allocated to salaries at the expense of development.
Kitui MCAs have moved to tame the hiring spree by Governor Charity Ngilu's administration that has raised the wage bill from Sh1.5 billion in 2017 to the current Sh4.1 billion.
The county assembly has stopped further recruitment of workers as the wage bill has shot to 36.6 per cent, surpassing the legal limit of 35 per cent of the total revenue.
On Wednesday, the assembly approved a motion on non-compliance of the wage bill with statutory requirements. The motion was moved by Kauwi MCA Jane Mutua.
“A lot of money in the recently approved 2019-20 county budget estimates was moved from development expenditure to pay for the rising wage bill,” Mutua said.
The assembly ordered the job embargo be enforced until the county Public Service Board provides data on all workers hired since September 2017 when Ngilu took office.
“This motion seeks to establish who is being paid this money or if it is going into someone’s pockets," Mutua said.
Nguni MCA Jefferson Kiruru called on the county to exercise austerity measures.
“A sound government will always balance the wage bill and development. Kitui's survival is at stake due to the ballooning wage bill,” Kiruru said.
Nominated MCA Esther Ndile noted that the Public Finance Management Act gives guidelines for recruitment which the county had already surpassed.
“We have previously even put it on record that any minister that violates this law should be surcharged,” she said.
Edited by R.Wamochie