Vihiga County government sends home irregularly recruited health workers

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Vihiga Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo
Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo

More than 500 health workers who were irregularly employed in Vihiga County have finally been sent home with immediate effect. The notice from the newly recruited County Public Service Board (CPSB) nullified the recruitment of the staff resulting from advertisements dated 17th January 2019 and 9th May 2019 and related appointments in the department of health.

While revoking the recruitment, the Board cited massive irregularities and illegalities in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Public Finance Management Act 2012 and other related provisions of the law.

The health department through the previous County Public Service Board earlier last year had advertised for 149 vacancies.

However, it was later discovered that 529 health staff were recruited under unclear circumstances.

The exercise attracted public uproar which prompted Governor Wilber Ottichilo to constitute an ad-hoc committee to investigate the alleged sham process.

From the findings, it was discovered some of the workers who were employed did not apply for the advertised positions; some were not shortlisted, whereas others did not seat for interviews.

This prompted Governor Ottichilo to stop salaries for more than 300 workers, as 211 were given a clean bill of health.

However, critics questioned how the 211 workers were retained yet the advertised positions were 149 as they urged the Governor to cancel the whole recruitment exercise.

The affected staff moved to court to stop any action being taken against them and early last week they got reprieve when Labor Relations Court sitting in Kisumu issued stay orders until the matter was heard and concluded.

Vihiga County Assembly had also formed an ad-hoc committee led by Sabatia West MCA Henry Asava to investigate the matter and was expected to table a report before the house after 14 days.