The Nairobi county government plans to sack over 5,000 staff that it inherited from the defunct Nairobi city council in a cost-cutting excercise.
The announcement was made on 16 September by Governor Evans Kidero who said that redundancy packages will cost the county government more than Sh6 billion. Kidero said there is only need for 6,000 of the current 11,000-strong workforce, alleging that an audit had uncovered widespread fraudulent activity including salaries being paid to non-existing employees. “We have people on our payroll who have died still being paid," he said. "We have others who live abroad, and we found one name appearing five times on the payroll with different ID numbers." Kidero said that reducing the bloated workforce would improve the quality of services offered by city hall, as well as saving it money.
Among the staff facing the axe are parking attendants who will be replaced by an automated service. “Currently, our workforce stands at 11,048 with 562 of them above 57 years of age and 3,457 above 50 years,” Kidero said.
Under Kenya's new devolved system of government – as voted for by the electorate in a 2010 referendum and introduced following this year's general elections – the country's former elected councils were dissolved and replaced by boards, with county governments replacing town and city councils.
A devolution fund was set up to help streamline the process. Kidero said that Sh6.3 billion of the Sh9.8billion available to Nairobi county this year will be used to pay salaries for workers, leaving little left over for use in development. The former Nairobi city council was mired in corruption claims for years, from "land grabbing" to the authorisation of illegal building and illicit rubbish dumps.