Nairobi News

HashtagHustle

Why City Hall isn’t releasing staff biometric registration report just yet


More than three months have passed since City Hall launched a Sh11 million biometric registration exercise aimed at weeding out ‘ghost workers’ at the county government.

The exercise was launched by Governor Mike Sonko on May 22, 2019 and concluded on June 22, 2019.

However, the county government has been tight-lipped on what came out of the much publicised project.

City Hall Devolution executive Larry Wambua said that the exercise is still going on but was, however, non-committal on the progress of the same.

“The report is not out as we are still going on with the registration process,” Mr Wambua said on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, according to an official at the county privy to the progress of the registration exercise, the report is out but is yet to be made public as its content is “too dicey”.

In light of this, according to the official, the county government is yet to make a decision on whether to release the report as its implementation is sure to shake political associations with a particular community set to be “seriously” affected if the report is effected to the letter.

“The report is damning as it has revealed that a particular community has almost 70 percent of employees at the county with a good number of them past 55 years of age, some are even over 70 but are still in the county’s payroll,” said the official who sought anonymity.

GHOST WORKERS

The registration exercise was to help Sonko’s administration rein on ghost workers following rising concerns over the number of imposters operating as bona fide county workers at the county by capturing the bio-data of all the 12,489 employees at the county.

The project was awarded to Starlite Company, whose management promised that the exercise would run from May 22 to June 15 adding that the verification SMS code would be announced to the public once the registration exercise was complete.

Sonko, during the launch, said that the new system was to see the county staff issued with biometric card containing their details and a unique number as well as name tags that will be mandatory for all county and sub-county staff to wear.

He explained that the new employee numbers that will be generated by the system will enable residents to verify whether a person claiming to be an officer or worker at the county is a bona fide employee by sending their unique identifier number to an SMS code to be announced to the public.

“All county staff will have to go through the system. This will enable the public to query whether the said staff are bona fide employees of the county or not. We have been losing millions to these ghost workers that have somehow managed to infiltrate all government sectors,” said Sonko at the time.

City Hall is currently spending Sh1.1 billion every month in payment of salaries to its staff having the third highest work force after the national government and the police service.