The Senate County Public Accounts Committee (CPAC) learned on Wednesday that Nyeri County employs 102 rat catchers in total.
The organisation is one among those targeted for layoffs to control the rising salary bill, according to Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga.
“We are looking at how we will release them. We do not want to have people walking around doing nothing,” the governor told the committee.
Since Nyeri served as the province capital prior to the enactment of the 2010 Constitution, he said that the majority were passed down from local administrations.
“We want to declare redundancies as part of a wider effort to bring down the wage bill.”
According to the audit, employee salaries for the year under consideration was Sh3,592,854,332 or 52% of total income (Sh6,956,824,044).
In light of this, the expenditure went above the 35% level outlined in Regulation 25 (1) (b) of the Public Finance Management (County Governments) Regulations of 2015.
“The high wage bill is an indication that most of the County’s resources are spent on staff salaries at the expense of development projects and thus impacting negatively on service delivery to the residents of Nyeri,” the Auditor General report said.
According to Kahiga, the County also received all of the workers from the disbanded Local Authorities, which comprised the Nyeri County Council, Nyeri Municipal Council, Karatina Municipal Council, and Othaya Town Council.
“Though the County inherited those staff not all of them had the skills to assist the County to deliver its mandate compelling the County to fill those gaps where inherited staff had to be retained,” he told the committee.
He claimed that the County Staffing Plan was created as a reference for figuring out the ideal amount of employees needed in the County to lower the wage cost.