Article 232 of the Constitution provides that subject to representation of Kenya’s diverse communities and affording adequate and equal opportunities to men, women, members of all ethnic groups and persons with disabilities, fair competition and merit are the basis of national values and good governance.
However, this representation has not been implemented in the country more so in Nairobi County. A recent report by the Auditor General reveals that despite Nairobi being a cosmopolitan county, Sonko’s regime went against the provision of the constitution on diversity. according to the report, 46 per cent, that is 5,496 of the 11,926, City Hall employees are from one ethnic community. It is also unclear whether they got the jobs from merit or only because of tribal connections.
Additionally, Sonko’s government was suspected to have paid out millions of shillings to hundreds of ghost workers. The Auditor General reached this conclusion based on scepticism over some Kshs. 8.26 million alleged to have been paid out to over 240 casuals, artisans, and supervisors for flood mitigation without any supporting evidence. There was no approved list of beneficiaries, evidence of recruitment of the lot, daily attendance register, and summary of calculated amounts paid to each worker. It was also unclear whether the said monies reached the intended persons.
Sonko’s government was also put on the spot for allegedly issuing its staff with multiple imprests amounting to Kshs 4.5 million that are yet to be surrendered to date.
The AG’s report indicates the rot at city hall and the tricks used by the corrupt to swindle county coffers. Stealing from the county through payments to ghost workers is a big crime as it denies employment opportunities particularly to youth, many of whom are jobless and desperate. The anti-Corruption taskforce must deploy deterrence mechanisms in the counties to root out corruption from grassroots.