Scandal rocks Nakuru county over hiring of high school students
The embattled Nakuru County Public Service Board is on the spot once again, this time, over shocking revelations that it recruited high school students as county enforcement officers.
The board is being investigated over illegal recruitment of 30 enforcement officers.
It emerged at the assembly on Tuesday that some of the 30 officers might have been high school students who never applied for the job and were ‘hired’ while still in school.
According to the assembly, the 30 officers irregularly hired were not factored in the 2016/17 budget.
Documents available at the assembly indicate that Sh17.2 million was allocated to recruit 100 enforcement officers.
However, the board issued appointment letters to 130 enforcement officers.
The committee chaired by Gilgil Ward representative Jane Ngugi had summoned board chairman Waithaji Mutiti, secretary James Mbugua and Public Service Management executive Prof Margaret Kitetu to explain the anomalies.
The advertisement to recruit the enforcement officers was placed in the local dailies in 2014, but the process of hiring the officers was done last year and letters issued in January this year.
In a stormy debate at the Labour and Social Welfare Committee meeting at the assembly, Subukia Ward Representative Mwangi Waithaka said it was improper for the board to recruit high school students when there were many deserving cases.
“This recruitment is a big sham as some of the successful candidates in the list tabled by the board were actually in high school and never applied for the positions,” said Mr Mwangi.
The claims were, however, denied by board chairman Dr Waititi who said due process was followed in the recruitment of the officers.
At one stage, the meeting was thrown into disarray when it was reduced into a shouting match and name-calling.
Vice-chairperson of the committee Ms Emma Wambui Mbugua and Free Area Ward representative Mr Humphrey Mwanki exchanged nasty words after the latter claimed the enforcement job was not meant for disabled persons.
Ms Mbugua, who represents disabled persons in the assembly, accused the board of discriminating against the disabled in the recruitment at the county.
“I am not a flower girl in this assembly and the disabled are also members of this county and deserve respect and equal job opportunities like any other able persons,” she said, furiously.
She accused the board of giving the disabled a raw deal, arguing that it had failed to adhere to the five per cent requirement of hiring disabled people.
Ndundori ward representative Steve Kihara said the board had failed in its obligation of making sure there is fairness and diversity in the recruitment of the staff at the county, claims which were denied by the board.
“The recruitment of the enforcement officers was stale from the word go and should be nullified,” said Mr Kihara.
Keringet Ward rep Leah Serem said no single recruit came from his ward and demanded for a fresh recruitment.
The committee adjourned its sitting to tomorrow (Thursday) to allow the board to furnish the committee with the details of the successful candidates, including their identity cards, telephone numbers and the list of the shortlisted candidates among other details.