Kenya: Sonko's Administration Now Free to Recruit Staff

23 October 2020

Nairobi County government can now recruit county staff after close to two years of inactivity due to lack of quorum in the county's public service board.

This is after the Nairobi County Assembly last week Thursday approved a new member to the board, in the process properly reconstituting the board in what will now offer relief to Governor Mike Sonko's administration.

City Hall has not been able to recruit staff for more than a year because of the lack of enough numbers in the board.

A planned recruitment of 800 new county constables, 498 early childhood development education teachers and 1,200 firefighters have stalled three times.

A similar attempt to recruit medical staff even after shortlisting of 1,159 candidates for interview was halted because of the lack of quorum.

However, with the approval of Governor Mike Sonko's nominee Jack Owino by MCAs as a new member of the board after successful vetting by the assembly's Labour and Social Welfare committee, means the board has reached the required number of five members to dispense its functions.

The board, which is made up of seven members who include the chairman, the chief executive officer and five other members, has only been having four members denying it the power to recruit staff for the county government.

For the board to transact its mandate, it needs a quorum of five members. However, the board had only four members namely acting chairman Thomas Kasoa, Aisha Wanjiku, Sharon Mirella, Consolota Muthoni.

And now with the entry of Mr Owino, the board can now dispense its functions which is mainly recruitment of county staff.

Minority Leader Michael Ogada said the achievement of quorum in the board will cure delays in recruitment and promotions as most strikes in the county have been caused by lack of activity by the board resulting from absence of proper constitution.

"We really applaud this committee and the Executive who have forwarded this name because there have been strikes in Nairobi and some of their grievances were lack of promotion. When some of us raised those issues with the service Board, they said they lacked quorum," said Mr Ogada.

"It is bad for a county to invite people for interviews, they are interviewed, and start waiting for letters for appointment. But all of a sudden they are cancelled simply because of some technicalities.

However, with the coming of the new member, the board is now complete and will be able to execute their mandate," he added.

Mugomoini MCA Jared Akama said the new development means that the board can now dispense its mandate with the county government now set to recruit constables and ECDE teachers.

"With the Board having a quorum, I think it is a high time this matter is dispensed," he said.

Kware MCA Rose Ogonda said the board has previously done three advertisements to recruit staff but by the fact that there was no quorum in the Board, nothing has been done.

The board, nonetheless, is yet to get a new chief executive officer after Governor Sonko's nominee for the position advocate Phillip Kaingu skipped vetting early this month. The governor is also yet to replace former chairman Abdihakim Mohamed.

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