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Homa Bay residents on the spot for demanding handouts from politicians

By George Odiwuor November 12th, 2022 2 min read

Homa Bay County Secretary nominee Prof Bernard Muok has told youths he will not share handouts with them if he takes office officially.

The nominee said he is not used to giving out free cash to people and he is not ready to start doing it now.

There is a concern among leaders in Homa Bay about a culture among the youths who walk from one office to another sourcing for handouts.

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Locally, they are referred as sangywanya and they use the money to address daily needs.

The money they collect is referred to as jamna.

County Assembly Speaker Julius Gaya said the youths are notorious for visiting offices within the county headquarters including the legislative House.

“You will find them walking along corridors. When they catch up with you, they ask for money,” he said when Prof Muok was being vetted at the county assembly.

The Speaker asked the nominee how he intended to deal with youths who were described as a menace in offices.

Prof Muok said he intends to be stingy so that no one goes to him to ask for lunch.

“I will not give out money to anyone, especially the youths who are fond of asking for money to buy lunch,” he said.

Prof Muok said it is better to create job opportunities for youths than to give them cash when they do not have any source of income.

“Let us teach them how to fish. It is uneconomical to give them fish,” he said.

The nominee headed the campaign team for Governor Gladys Wanga in Ndhiwa Constituency.

He expressed confidence he will be the county’s second secretary after Isaiah Ogwe who resigned in February to contest for the governor seat.

One of the things he said he will do if he gets into office is to get rid of ghost workers in the county.

According to Prof Muok, there needs to be a regular payroll audit for employees to ensure only genuine, certified and assigned workers receive payment from the public coffers.

A concern was raised by Ms Wanga that the county has people who draw salaries but do not offer services to residents.

The county spends nearly half of its budget to pay salaries and part of it goes to accounts owned by individuals who are not employed.

An audit is ongoing to expose the group.

Prof Muok said he will collaborate with departments such as the Finance and Public Service Board to operationalize structures and systems that will prevent them from paying salaries to the non-existent workers.

“Ghost workers are a menace not only in Homa Bay but also other counties. Under my tenure, I will ensure regular implementation of human resource audits to do away with them,” the nominee said.