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Another irregular hiring at Vihiga county – Weekly Citizen




Irregular hiring of staff at Vihiga county government has taken a new turn with some senior officers now being hired from other counties secretly in what is termed as inter-county transfers.
This is a new strategy of getting relatives on payroll in promoted positions without them going through proper procedures, amounting to a new level of abuse of office only seen in Vihiga.
One such staff that has been enjoying irregular salary and other per diems yet his position was never advertised for competitive sourcing is Henry Anjila, employed in the department of agriculture by chief officer Pamella Busungu.
Anjila was employed as a principal livestock officer in May last year, after he sent an application letter to illegally acting county secretary Philip Gavuna through Busungu.
“I hereby submit my application for consideration on transfer on ‘availability’ of vacant position in Vihiga county government. I work in Garissa county as a subcounty livestock production officer in Dadaab subcounty,” part of his application dated March 19 reads.
It adds: “I am in Job Group N and a holder of Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Production from Egerton University. I have over 22 years extension experience.”
Busungu went on to approve the letter on March 11, confirming availability of vacant position for livestock production officer.
“This position is based on information of the current establishment, departmental requirements and identified gaps as per the departmental organogram. Please note that the department has adequate budgetary provision to cater for the staff,” she wrote in her reply to Gavuna.

MP Omulele


In a letter dated May 14 last year, and purportedly from Garissa county secretary Abdi Ali, Anjila was cleared for transfer to Vihiga noting that they had no objection against him having met prerequisite exit requirements.
In June, county public service board CEO John Naviava, who is at the centre of issuing illegal employment letters to health staff, sanitised the process, writing to Gavuna and Busungu urging them to absorb Anjila into the county public service payroll.
“Despite Naviava knowing very well that this is a competitive position that needs advertisement, short-listing and interviews, he went on and approved the process,” an officer in the payroll tipped us.
The officer added: “We do not know the reason as to why these officers transferred someone from Garissa, whom we do not know if he was sacked or is serving suspension, yet we have officers around who if it was promotion, they could have been given a chance and performed very well. It does not make sense transferring an old man from Garissa who is nearing retirement.”
Public service and administration executive Paul Mbuni started inquiry of the process late in July, after Anjila had been on payroll for two months already, and his pay was stopped since then.
Hardworking and no-nonsense county attorney Stella Orengo went to Nairobi in September and enquired to the Public Service Commission if the transfer could be reversed, but was told there is nothing like inter-county transfers yet and everyone is supposed to apply for positions only if advertised.
She later wrote an advisory that employing Anjila was not procedural and this has followed other meetings discussing the same, but no action taken.
However, Busungu is so keen on making sure Anjila is brought back to the payroll and has even promised to pay him manually for the months he has worked without pay.
Currently, she takes him whenever there may be per diems, which he earns more than what his salary is, in a given month.
Anjila now wants to sue Mbuni for removing him from the payroll, while Gavuna has written to Garissa county secretary asking him to take him back, noting they erred in employing him.
But a source in the county said Busungu and another worker Noah Okaya have underdealings pushing Anjila to go to court in which case the county will not defend the matter leading to him being compensated in millions of shillings. They all boast to be close to Governor Wilber Ottichilo who of late has come under severe criticism.
According to Luanda MP Chris Omulele, the county has been losing millions of shillings in such cases where people go to court and are awarded millions of shillings which are shared by some well connected individuals. The MP has accused Okaya of milking the county dry as if he does not want to see it prosper in any way.
Okaya, Busungu and Anjila are closely related, and that is why they are really fighting for him to join their long lists of relatives in the county’s payroll.
The bloated wage bill in the county has been partly contributed by some powerful chief officers like Busungu, who boast of being untouchables as they have the governor’s ear, sneaking staff quietly on payroll.
This happens even when some staff members seconded to county government by national government have been told to go back to where they came from.
Currently, former governor Moses Akaranga’s personal assistant Hudson Mutsotso and other staff members have gone to court to protest the move and have not been earning for months.
As all these are happening, revenue clerks and cleaners have gone for four months without pay after MCAs passed a motion compelling the county not to sack them.

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