The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is on the spot over Sh18.5 million, which was reportedly paid to ‘ghost workers’ to help in mapping during the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census.
The National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee flagged the issue after KNBS officials failed to provide signatures of the beneficiaries of the Sh18 million.
KNBS Director-general, George Obudho, said they did not have signatures of the elders, who received the money paid in cash. The agency said it commissioned the elders to help their staff in the mapping exercise during the 2019 census.
The committee gave KNBS a week to present a list of all their staff who were given the money to pay the elders so that the money can be recovered from them since there is no evidence that they paid out the money.
The issue of ghost workers in the civil service, who continue to bloat the public wage bill is not new and the Nairobi City Council has in the past been quite notorious over the same.
12,500 ghost workers on the government’s payroll
In 2014, biometric registration captured 12,500 ghost workers on the government’s payroll.
Then Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, announced that only 160,012 people out of the 172,522 employees on the government’s payroll turned up for a biometric exercise, that was aimed at weeding out ghost workers.
The exercise also revealed that about 300 officers were older than the official retirement age of 60.
In an unprecedented exercise in Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta in September 2014 officiated the launch of the Capacity Assessment and Rationalization of the Public Service (CARPS) at State House Mombasa that would see civil servants registered through a biometric system in an effort to weed out ghost workers and tame the ballooning public service wage bill.
The programme targeted civil servants at both the national and county government levels.
BIOMETRIC REGISTRATION CAPTURES 12,500 GHOST WORKERS ON GOVERNMENT’S PAYROLL