, NAIROBI, Kenya, December 3 – The City Council of Nairobi (CCN) has introduced the use of smart cards for council employees in a bid to eliminate fraudsters masquerading as City Hall workers.
Town Clerk Philip Kisia said on Friday that the cards will ensure people deal with genuine workers and are expected to improve service delivery to city residents.
The cards will among other things enable the council to know what time employees report to work and when they leave, contain stringent identification features, and the use of thumb prints to access medical care.
“Today we are burying fraudsters and imposters. From today, the public will be able to differentiate between genuine hardworking City Council employees and the fraudsters and imposters who have continually tarnished our name,” he stated.
He explained that imposters and unscrupulous council employees extort money from the public due to lack of uniforms and valid identification cards for all council employees.
“I must admit that it is a hard task for the city residents to differentiate between genuine dedicated council workers and fraudsters. The council has not only lost credibility but also a lot of revenue through impersonators,” he said.
He pointed out that for the past three months, Town Hall has arrested 30 impersonators and arraigned them in court.
He appealed to the residents to help fight this vice by reporting any suspects to the council or the nearest police station.
Mr Kisia further said that the log in and log out feature of the card will ensure that employees do not abscond their duties.
“It has I think four or more features, time and attendance. We know again that there are a few of our employees who do not even report to work but at the end of the month, they extend their hands to be paid their dues,” he pointed out.
He said the use of the smart card will enable better management of staff, effective supervision and will enhance transparency and accountability.
“These systems are already in place so that from January 1, any council employee going for medical will have to produce his or her thumb so that only genuine council employees are the only ones who access medical services that we are paying for,” he said.
“We are also working with the banks to ensure that it is only genuine council employees who are living that are contained in the payroll.”
Mr Kisia stated that the issuance of the cards is being done in line with the stringent review of the human resource function within the council.
A previous audit by audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had revealed that there were more than 4, 000 ghost workers within City Hall’s payroll.
This constituted 35 percent of the 12, 000 employees earning a salary at that time from at the council.
The mayor’s office said the smart card initiative will greatly improve the working relationship between the council and residents of Nairobi.
He called on all those issued with the cards to be careful with them so that they are not misused.
He said that the council will undertake an exercise to inform the public that all city council employees have the smart cards and failure to produce one will mean that one cannot discharge his or her duties.
He pointed out that members of the public have an inherent right to demand identification from any member of staff who wants to serve them.