EACC Goes After Kisii County Ghost Workers

EACC urged incoming governors to work with them and provide details of emerging corruption allegations to inform them...

EACC Goes After Kisii County Ghost Workers
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) offices at the Integrity Centre in Nairobi. /EACC

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has commenced investigations into claims of ghost workers after Kisii County governor, Simba Arati carried out a headcount of all the employed county drivers on Thursday, September 1.

In a statement, the anti-corruption body noted that it is carrying out a probe into alleged insurance fraud and absentee workers in the county after its government discovered that 256 drivers had been recruited against 82 functioning vehicles. 

Some of those recruited had no known assigned work within the county. EACC urged incoming governors to work with them and provide details of emerging corruption allegations to inform them regarding their next course of action.

Kisii County cars paraded at Gusii stadium on September 1, 2022. /FILE

"EACC is seized of the allegations of insurance fraud and ghost workers in Kisii County Government and has, today, launched investigations in accordance with its mandate.

“EACC expects the incoming Governors and their administrations to cooperate and give us details of these emerging corruption scams to inform our interventions. We hope that they will not fall prey to any temptations to run down their counties like some of their predecessors," EACC CEO, Twalib Mbarak.

Twalib further urged the incoming governors to strengthen accountability systems to seal all loopholes that permit embezzlement of public funds and other malpractices. 

Arati noted specifically that out of 82 functioning vehicles, only 62 of them had genuine log books. Many vehicles had not been registered on comprehensive insurance cover despite records from the finance department showing so.

He cited that one of the county vehicles which was involved in a road accident at Daraja Mbili market was repaired and the number plate was changed and is now being owned by an individual.

"We cannot sit and witness, crooked deals taking place in the county, we have you generation coming, where do we expect they will lean into, let us be human beings," he said.

It was revealed that the former county regime never renewed the driver's licence since 2014. The ambulance vehicles are, for instance, operating with expired licences 

He said that there are more ghost workers he will kick out of the county in a few weeks to come.

The drivers on their part aired their grievances, stating that they have been sleeping in cars for lack of per diems when they take their seniors for work-related trips.

The governor affirmed that he is not going to relent on drunkard drivers to drive county vehicles recklessly to cause accidents. It is said that millions of shillings have been misappropriated at the county.

While EACC will continue to enforce the law, the Commission expects the Governors to strengthen internal controls in public procurement, capital project management, recruitment of staff and payment of pending bills, which are listed as some of the high corruption risk areas.

Kisii County Governor, Simba Arati. /FILE