Bored deputy governors earn hefty salary for doing nothing

The DGs want portfolios to justify their presence in office

In Summary
  • Deputy governors want to be in charge of dockets at no extra pay "as most of us are well educated".
  • They go go to their offices “for the roll call, eat mandazis and swing in the chairs the whole day”.
Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu in a past event.
PAID FOR BOREDOM: Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu in a past event.

Deputy governors earn hefty salaries for doing “absolutely nothing”. They say this state of affairs should not continue and want to be given portfolios.

The Deputy Governors Forum is pushing for clear and structured functions of the office of deputy governor "as most of us are well educated".

Forum chair Caroline Karugu, who is Nyeri deputy governor, said they go to their offices “for the roll call, eat mandazis and swing in the chairs the whole day”.

“We are extremely knowledgeable but our skills are not utilised. Most Kenyans don’t even know their deputy governors because they have never seen us do anything,” she said.

She said the Building Bridges Initiative's proposal to compel candidates vying for governor to pick deputies of the opposite sex may not work if proper structures are not put in place.

“It will be a disaster because the deputy will just be idle all the time. We might end up [being] breeding couples,” Karugu said.

She said they each earn Sh740,000 per month, which amounts to Sh400 million per year and about Sh2 billion for five years.

 “Sh2 billion is paid to people who do nothing for five years. Deputy governors are now doing charitable activities so that they have functions to do. A deputy president should also be a minister or Cabinet secretary for something.” 

Karugu said deputy governors should be in charge of a docket and not get  additional pay.

“We want a deputy governor to be in charge of a docket like health. The money paid to one County Executive Committee member could be saved and this will go a long way in reducing the wage bill,” she said.

Article 179(5) of the Constitution says when the governor is absent, the deputy governor should act as governor. But he/she cannot nominate, appoint or dismiss anyone.

The governor cannot delegate to the deputy governor any of the functions that relate to hiring and firing.

Karugu told Citizen TV that deputy governors submitted their proposals to the BBI team. “We sat down with devolution experts to come up with structured work to do. We tabled this to the BBI,” she said.

“How do you pay someone Sh740,000 just for contingency? It is very expensive,” she said, adding that if their aspirations are not met through the BBI, they will petition Parliament to amend Section 32 of the County Government Act.

Section 32 of the Act states that the deputy governor should deputise the governor in executing the governor’s functions. The governor may assign the deputy governor any other responsibility or portfolio as a county executive.

Embu Deputy Governor David Kariuki is on record complaining that deputy governors are oppressed by their bosses and denied chances to serve residents. He said the DGs, himself included, are frustrated.


- mwaniki fm

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