A protracted legal battle is looming in Nyamira County which will for the first come expose massive employment illegalities that could bring down top government officials following payroll audit.
Last week, Governor John Nyagarama revealed that the government is ready to face over 1,000 employees who had their salaries frozen after it emerged that they might have been recruited illegally.
"I am ready and I am not going to turn back. A wrong cannot be a right. Those who wish to move to court, are free to do so. We cannot keep paying millions to people fraudulently employed. Those behind the scheme must face the law," he said.
The report by an interim payroll committee which is yet to be made a public document, exposed illegal employment scheme in which over 1,950 people are admitted to the payroll without due process.
For the 1,000 who could not get April salaries, the county was able to save Sh24 million that translates to over Sh1 billion from 2016. An insider who spoke in confidence said most of those irregularly employed wee recruited in 2015 and 2016.
"We were looking at employment letters. Some of them were not signed by relevant authorities. Some of them were backdated to 2016 even though they reported in 2018. In 2016 alone, over 1,950 people were employed which is humanly impossible," he said.
The county government of Nyamira has been spending Sh5 billion annually for recurrent expenditure, making it impossible for projects to get enough funding. This, the official says, can also be directly attributed to irregular promotions.
Even as those irregularly recruited head to court, several other employees who were irregularly promoted face risk of being jailed for violation of employment process.
"We have detected instances where people were promoted without due process. For instance, cases where someone was recruited in Job Group K but is now enjoying Job Group N salary within just two years. These cases consumed millions in the last three years," he noted.
Also in the radar are ghost workers who governor Nyagarama says have been earning without physically reporting to their work station. According to him, all employees will be subjected to head count.
"I am ready to pay the price. I don't care whether it's a relative or a friend. Let the law be followed. Most importantly, those behind the fraud must be prosecuted," he said last week.
Although the payroll committee was sent on compulsory leave, it's not yet clear what the governor intends to do for CPSB members, who are responsible for dishing letters. Most of them are expected to leave their office and month after six years in charge.