Forces behind the irregular employment scam in Nyamira county are now fighting back zealously with a group of people who were hired less than a year ago terming the ongoing probe as selective.
The group says the ongoing payroll cleansing is being conducted in an opaque manner with only a few of the employees who were handed suspicious appointment letters between April 2018 to date demanding that the period under probe should be extended to March 2017 when senior officers in the county are said to have sneaked more names into the payroll.
The whistleblowers said they will be satisfied with the ongoing scrutiny if only the earlier lot of illegally employed workers were also suspended, pending the probe.
A senior officer in Governor John Nyagarama’s office who is suspected to be the mastermind of the employment scam told Weekly Citizen that an officer of a higher command in Nyagarama’s administration enlisted more than 200 people from his village into the payroll between March and April 2018.
These are the workers who have not been affected and who the dissatisfied group wants also expunged from the county workers’ register.
During this period, senior payroll staff were sent on compulsory leave, only to be allowed back to office after the new employees had been included in the pay systems.
Last week, the county froze salaries of 1,000 workers whose employment was irregularly done but those pressing for a widened interrogation of the payroll have said more of the unlawfully hired people should be netted.
The fight against illegal employment seemed to suffer a blow after members of the Nyamira county assembly also started ganging up against the executive over the cleansing.
A confidential preliminary report of the taskforce probing the employment scam revealed that all MCAs benefited from the scheme after each one of them was given leeway by an unnamed official in the executive to front six names of job seekers that were sneaked into the payroll.
An MCA told this writer that the assembly has resolved to bring down public service management executive Bernard
Osumo as a strategy towards paralysing the payroll sanitisation exercise.
Osumo’s impeachment is in the process but it has been stopped by the Labour and Industrial Relations Court in Kisumu.
Meanwhile, the MCAs have vowed to fight to protect jobs of the illegally employed workers with Bomwagamo rep Charles Barongo saying no one should be victimised.
Nyagarama and his deputy Amos Nyaribo have vowed to go ahead with the process.
“There is no reverse gear in this fight. Each one of the people being probed should be able to say when the jobs they were given were advertised, where they did interviews and if they applied for the works,” Nyagarama told journalists.
Nyaribo termed the accusations and counter accusations over the illegal employment as sideshows which will be ignored.
“Nothing can distract us from reducing the illegal workers,” Nyaribo said.
According to the investigating taskforce, Nyamira county is losing Sh24 million every month to ghost workers.
Investigations revealed that over 1,000 who were laid off last week had bought their illegal positions by paying a minimum of Sh140,000.
Some of the laid off workers shed tears before journalists when they turned to their respective banks for their April salaries only to find them missing.
The workers have started demanding their monies from the persons they paid which translates to Sh140,000,000.
“A senior officer from the governor’s office was behind this scheme and if he will not give us our money back, we will name him before dealing with him ruthlessly,” a sacked worker who seemed ready to kill said.
Some of the laid off workers are contemplating moving to court to challenge their dismissal because they had not been notified before being removed from the payroll and their salaries stopped.