Bungoma casuals suspended as audit force present report

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By Isabella Maua

Bungoma governor Kenneth Makelo Lusaka has on Wednesday unveiled a preliminary report findings by the 3 taskforce gazetted to audit the eligibility and status of pending county bills.

While addressing media during the unveiling of the report, the governor stated that it was only preliminary and the taskforce has been extended by 10 days to enable completion of the final report.

However, the key points that were captured in the report included: Bungoma Sholarship Fund which was popularly known as ‘Wangamati Scholarship’ during the previous regime, Human Resource Audit majorly targeting casual workers and the controversial village administrators as well as pending bills over contracts and projects.

The task force found that The County Public Service Board had employed 197 more casuals than directed by Labour Relations Court order issued on 13th May 2020. It further uncovered flawed recruitment of Village administrators citing that 20 of them were recruited and deployed without any due applications made or shortlisting done.

Regarding Scholarship program as backdated from 2018, report acknowledged that the concept was and remains noble despite being tainted with a handful of malpractices like committee members extending their term in office without renewal of contract or re-appointment letters, undeserving students benefitting from the program while deserving ones denied the golden opportunity besides over Ksh.140,000 being lost in an unexplained anomaly of ghost students receiving fee allocation.   

On matters pending bills; 6 roads were cited to have been allocated payment for a non-existent contract hence ghost projects, illegal variation of contracts terms where the force unraveled what seemed to be pre-determined scheme to trigger future variations on works through deliberate understanding of requirements at the BQ stage. Selective payments of bills and haphazard commitments besides payments being made against laid down procedures were also profoundly cited.

Conclusively, Lusaka revealed that the Chief Officers who were on compulsory leave will extend another one month to allow room for audit completion and ordered annulment of unqualified Village Administrators and immediate re-advertisement of the positions.

The principal further divulged that County Staff head count will be conducted and concluded in the next 10 days and comprehensive report of staff establishment tabled to him in 14 days by The County PSC.  

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