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All public servants holding more than one job to resign and refund benefits; EACC

EACC directs all public servants holding more than one job to resign and refund benefits and salaries in a landmark ruling.

The double employment of a public official was ruled to be irregular and illegal by the Nyeri Employment and Labour Court in a historic decision that will impact thousands of public officers who hold multiple positions in the civil service.

Justice Onesmus Makau rendered a decision in a case brought by Agnes Wanjiru, a JKUAT lecturer who served as a part-time board member of the Kirinyaga County Assembly Service Board from 2017 to 2022.

Judge Makau decided that because Wanjiru was a full-time public servant working as a senior lecturer at JKUAT, she was ineligible to be appointed as a part-time member of the board.

Additionally, the court determined that she was ineligible to receive the compensation and benefits.

In her lawsuit filed with the court on August 2, 2022, Wanjiru requested that the Kirinyaga County Assembly and the County Assembly Clerk be prohibited from carrying out an order from EACC that halted Wanjiru’s future payments on July 27, 2022.

She also requested a statement that she had not broken any laws by acting as an external board member at the assembly while employed by JKUAT and that EACC be prohibited from interfering with her second position at the Kirinyaga County Assembly.

However, EACC challenged the case arguing that her appointment to the board amounted to double employment contrary to Article 77(1) of the Constitution and Section 26 of the Leadership and Integrity Act.

Following the ruling, EACC has initiated recovery of all the salaries, allowances, gratuity, and other benefits warned by Wanjiru in the five years she served in the board where she was entitled to the monthly retainer of Ksh.145,000.

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Eric Ngumbi, the EACC Spokesperson revealed that they are investigating a number of cases in the public service including the case of Jennifer Gatiri, the acting Secretary and CEO of the Council of Legal Education who is accused of holding eight public jobs which amounts to fraudulent acquisition of public property.

It is a trend that he says also affects county governments.

In the same vein, EACC says irregularities in employment in the counties are now emerging as the leading way that county officials are using to loot funds.

They include payroll fraud where payrolls are altered to fraudulently increase allowances, retain employees who have retired or exited the counties, and place some employees in higher grades.

Over-employment is another malpractice, County Public Service Boards being manipulated by governors to serve their interests, ghost workers who do not do anything but they earn salaries which they share with the top officials, and employment or promotion of officials on the basis of forged academic certificates.

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