The acting Vihiga county secretary Philip Gavuna has been dealt a big blow after Governor Wilbur Ottichilo left his name and instead picked on Chesamisi Boys’ High School principal Ezekiel Ayiego as the new county secretary. The move by the governor is seen as part of his strategy to dismantle the cartel at the county that has almost costed him his seat. Now, the governor next move is to crack the whip on corrupt county executives and managers. Ottichilo has already handed the name of Ayiego to the Vihiga county assembly for approval, a move that many say was well calculated. A majority of Vihiga residents supported the move by Ottichilo of handing the plum job to Ayiego instead of Gavuna who is said to have messed up the county public service board since he took over from the veteran county secretary Francis Ominde. Gavuna has been messing the county from the word go when he was fronted to act as the county secretary, hence frustrating the efforts by Ottichilo to bring sanity in his administrations. It should be remembered that when Gavuna was picked to act as county secretary, Ottichilo has been facing tough times to manage the county workforce.
Gavuna is on record for over hiring of staff both on contract and casual in the department of trader when he was chief officer trade and acting county secretary. Many workers were hired illegally including ghost workers who were put on the county manual payroll siphoning county coffers. Ottichilo was forced to carry the burden of paying ghost workers in the department of trade until their contracts were terminated. Some ghost workers are still demanding their pay from the county up to date. The second mess was witnessed when Gavuna as the acting county secretary oversaw the hiring of health staff where the county ministry of health overhired over 500 health workers instead of 149. Gavuna with his human resource director counterpart Millicent Madara have not given Ottichilo the reason why they failed to contain such a mess. Gavuna is said to have signed appointment letters for most of the illegal hire health staff with Madara graduating them to county payroll deliberately.
They have left the burden to Ottichilo who is spending sleepless nights on how to manage the bloated county wage bill. Already, Gavuna and Madara are the marked characters in the efforts by Ottichilo to flash out incompetent staff. Gavuna and Madara have been served with letters by the county public service board to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for messing up the county public service and human resource departments. Madara was illegally employed as the county human resource director and many say it is time for Ottichilo to kick her out and replace her with a competent HR director if he wants things to run smoothly. Ayiego whom many say can do better than Gavuna emerged the best among those shortlisted including Assava Musienga, Agufuna Alfonse, Amadi Josephat, Joseph Mdege, Mutiti Waithanji, Jonathan Kipchoge, Otiato Gerishom, Gavuna, and Opati Duncan.