Kilifi, KENYA: Nine chief officers out of ten in the Kilifi county government have been sent on terminal leave nearly one month to the elapse of their contracts on March 3rd, 2018.
Only one chief officer, Benjamin Kai who heads the department of finance and economic planning has been exempted.
According to a letter dated January 19, 2018, the officers are supposed to be out of their offices from Monday, January 22nd.
Kilifi acting County Secretary Bibi Fondo on Tuesday said that the officers have been sent on leave in bid to prepare them psychologically for the completion of their contracts.
“This is a normal procedure and we only want to prepare these officers psychologically,” Bibi said.
“We have not sacked them. We will be calling them for duties of necessity and other lighter duties,” Bibi added.
She added that Kai’s contract ends in September 2018 that’s why he was not sent on leave.
However, some of the chief officers questioned the motive of the directive sighting fear of being dismissed technically.
On Tuesday, social media groups from the county were busy speculating the reasons for the leave at the same time for almost all chief officers.
After the uproar, a text message said to have been written by the acting County secretary to the chief officers asking them not to leave out of town so that they can be available when needed was doing rounds on social media.
“Good morning chiefs. Kindly take note that during your time on leave you will be required to be on call if called upon particularly on pending payments and assignments. I will do a letter to this effect in the course of the day. Your cooperation is much appreciated,” read the text sent on Tuesday.
She, however, refused to comment on the matter saying it was internal.
A chief officer who sort anonymity raised questions why they are being sent home at a time when the county is about to receive the disbarment of the supplementary budget.
“We really do not understand why us. During the CECs interviews, they were not sent on leave. The acting county secretary herself is supposed to attend the interviews and she is not going on leave. We expect to receive money for projects in two days or so. Why this time?” said the chief officer.
The 9 officers sent on leave include, Andrew Makoti in charge of environment, Samuel Kombe (Water) Patience Tsimba (trade), Adan Mohamed (public service and disaster management) Emmanuel Katana (education), Chuba Mohamed (ICT) Joseph Waema and Kenneth Kazungu, (roads).