Government issues new tough order to Governors firing county officials

Thousands of staff in Counties have been sacked since Monday

Public Service Commission Chairperson Margaret Kobia has warned county governments against the arbitrary sacking of employees, saying it would occasion hefty legal costs.

The new warning comes in the backdrop of massive sackings by the newly elected governors across the country over what many governors term as “dialing to support them during campaign periods last month.”

The government has now said that there will no money to pay for irregular sacking of county employees.

Prof Kobia has maintained that all workers, including those on contract as casuals, have strict employment terms governed by the Constitution and the Employment Act which must be adhered to.

"Legal steps for terminating a worker on permanent and contract terms must be respected by all otherwise counties risk spending public funds in running court battles," said Kobia.

As at the time of issuing the warning, numerous new county governors have cracked the whip on ‘defiant’ employee. Thousands of employee have been sent packing in a new sweep instituted. Many of the sacked employees were hired by the outgoing governors.

Analysts, however, argue that the move might have been brought about by a way to show political supremacy for the incoming governors without following due process.

The county is staff is hired by the County Service Boards of respective counties, in which case, all employees’ duties and responsibilities are prescribed by the board.

In Tharaka Nithi County, for example, new Governor Muthomi Njuki, a former MP sent home over 1,000 workers on Tuesday.

Earlier, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and his Nairobi Counterpart send few others on compulsory leave for unclear reasons. There is massive panic amongst employees in the county government over the uncertainty of what happens next.

Prof Kobia has said that all governors should justify the sacking to avoid impeding legal battles.

"Governors who want to sack employees who they perceive did not vote for them must show how they arrived at that decision because voting is a secret affair," she said.

She added: "Governors who won their second terms and want to sack employees who they claim are not performers must also explain how they hired them in the first place."

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