Migori County government has declared 267 employees who did not turn up for staff headcount as 'ghost' workers.
Speaking after a month-long employees' head count exercise on Wednesday, Governor Okoth Obado said that the workers who did not turn up for the headcount would be dealt with according to the law.
"During the headcount exercise, we had a total 3,345 employees in the payroll. Out of this, 3,078 workers turned up. We are yet to understand where 267 persons were during such a vital exercise and the county government can only term them as ghost workers who must be dealt with conclusively," said Mr Obado.
The governor further said that of the 3,078 employees who turned up for the exercise, 31 employees had questionable credentials.
"From the data analysed, 31 employees who showed up had questionable credentials/appointment letters while others were unknown to their supervisors," added Mr Obado.
He reiterated that the exercise was meant to streamline the payroll of the county government in a bid to rid it of ghost workers and save on funds.
However, some county workers said the exercise was meant to intimidate employees perceived to be against the governor.
The workers allege that that the exercise was characterised by intimidation and threats from the county officials.
Kenya County Government Workers Union, Nyanza Chapter Chairperson Mr Charles Opiyo said that several employees had complained of harassment by the officials.
Mr Opiyo said that even though the employees had agreed to go through the exercise, they read sinister motives when some of them were being turned away for lack of certain documents that they say are not critical.
"The exercise turned out to be a way of settling political scores. A number of employees were turned away on flimsy grounds, while several others have complained of harassment from the officials," said Mr Opiyo.
He added: "Should any of the employees be victimised, we will take legal action."