The entry of Wavinya Ndeti as Machakos governor was supposed to bring change in governance issues in the county, a positive change to its residents in terms of development agenda and leadership.
However, close to three months after she was sworn in, the county seems to be in tatters with the administration struggling to offer services, even as county officials stare at uncertain futures in regard to their jobs.
Worse still, The Sharp Daily has been informed that the newly elected governor’s administration has been unable to pay salaries for the last couple of months, following dubious appointments that have stopped the county from spending on salaries.
In a bid to pull out of the mud, Ms Ndeti has gone behind the curtains to try and put the house in order.
Sharp Daily‘s investigative desk managed to get behind the curtains, and here reveals what we can call the chaotic entry’ of Governor Wavinya into Machakos County administration affairs.
Being a political foe of former Governor Dr Alfred Mutua (now cabinet secretary for Foreign Affairs), when Ms Ndeti got into power, she embarked on a revenge mission. Being not able to revenge directly against Dr Mutua, Ndeti decided to go for the former’s appointments, whom she considers her enemies too.
On October 31, 2022, Governor Ndeti issued an Executive order firing county employees unilaterally, after she was blocked by the comptroller of budget from spending county resources more than legally provided to pay salaries.
Counties are not allowed to use more than 35 percent of their revenues to pay salaries.
But how did Machakos get to the point of a bloated wage bill?
Exclusive documents obtained by The Sharp Daily show that within her first month, Governor Wavinya hired at least 57 county employees to take the place of the ‘Mutua loyalists’ she had demoted. Among those hired included her sister Winny Kalondu Kivuti, who was hired as the Director of Administration (Special Programmes of the Governor).
Over 40 of the 57 appointments were done for the Office of the Governor, with several of the appointees having overlapping roles, leading to the bloated wage bill.
The appointments were done without any job adverts or interviews which is a requirement by the County Governments Act, which mandates the County Public Service Board to regulate the appointment of persons on contract.
With the county wages taking up more than 35 percent of the county revenue, the county was stopped from paying salaries until the human resource issue was resolved.
To blind the public, Ms Ndeti formed the Machakos County Human Resource Taskforce to ‘investigate’ the issue and give recommendations.
“I Have formed the Machakos County Human Resource Taskforce with exhaustive terms of reference with a view to investigate and recommend appropriate actions any form of malpractice in the human resource practices in Machakos County Government and which exercise must be concluded within thirty days from the date of Gazettement,” she said in a Gazette notice dated October 31, 2022.
In the Executive Order, the governor said that all recruitments and promotions done between August 1, 2021, to October 30, 2022, alongside their respective financial benefits were nullified forthwith.
Efforts by The Sharp Daily to reach the governor through his known contacts were futile.
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