NAKURU, Kenya, Aug 29 – Governor Lee Kinyanjui has conducted a major purge on his first day in office as he seeks to set Nakuru – the fourth largest town in Kenya – on an upward trajectory.
Governor Kinyanjui has sent on compulsory leave more than 20 senior officers among them County Secretary Joseph Motari, Director of Finance, Wilson Mungai and Director of Procurement, Eliezer Ngarari.
Others are Head of Accounts, Dan Odundo, Head of Enforcement, Joseph Kiara and his deputy Charles Nyanaro.
Also sent on compulsory leave are 18 sub-county officers and their deputies to allow their evaluation and possible redeployment.
The recruitment of the county administrators by the past regime was shrouded in claims of corruption and nepotism.
The previous regime was accused of recruiting 18 county administrators yet the region has 11 sub counties.
“This move is to rid the County Executive of corrupt cartels and county administrators who were irregularly recruited,” said Kinyanjui.
Motari was seconded to the county in 2013 by the Transition Authority.
He never became the Nakuru County Secretary because he was rejected by the county assembly when he was presented for vetting at the advent of devolution in 2013.
He was later declared unfit to hold office by the High Court in Nakuru but he remained in office.
Kinyanjui has appointed Changamwe Deputy County Commissioner, Benjamin Njoroge Kiragu as the County Secretary in an acting capacity.
He also appointed former Egerton University Professor James Tuitoek to head a task force to find permanent solutions to health sector problems in the region.
Governor Kinyanjui warned the County Public Service Board against extorting money from unemployed locals.
“The CPSB has been adversely and regularly mentioned in recruitment malpractices including bribery and sexual exploitation,” he warned.
Kinyanjui said his administration would stop at nothing to initiate and facilitate any process that would restore credibility in the CPSB.
He noted that there were arbitrary promotions and hiring of staff in the past four months.
He pledged to overhaul the finance and revenue sector saying that the county had lost Sh1.9 billion revenue in the past one year.
On finance and procurement, Kinyanjui halted all procurement functions for 30 days with the exemption of goods and services that are essential.
“The stoppage is due to the prevailing corruption in key departments relating to finance and procurement,” he said.
To reduce the huge wage bill at the county which is estimated at Sh5.3 billion per year, the governor said he will engage a reputable HR firm to do a biometric census and staff appraisal procedures to ascertain staff data in correspondence with the payroll.