The Ghosts Are Back - Treasury CS Yattani

  • Acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani on November 27, 2019, blamed the increased number of ghost workers who continue to receive salaries from the government for the ballooning wage bill.

    According to Daily Nation, Yattani claimed that the number of fictitious employees who either died or retired is now indicating a red light to the country’s economy, weighing heavily on the development budget. 

    Further, the CS noted that a preliminary audit found that some ministries, state agencies, and commissions that hire large numbers of employees continue to pay officers who are no longer in service.

    A photo of the National Treasury

    Yattani has also blamed the staff pay system that is used by the government and called for its upgrade to reduce unnecessary expenditure.

    “There is a problem with weak payroll management systems. A number of payrolls are still populated with ghost workers earning money from the exchequer and yet they cannot be found,” remarked Yattani as quoted by Daily Nation.

    “The removal of ghost workers from the payroll is one of the strategies, together with a freeze in new hiring and pay increases, aimed at reducing Kenya’s ballooning public sector wage bill,” further read the quote.

    The CS also indicated that Treasury was also seeking to restrict salary payment to workers whose details are in the core electronic payroll.

    CS Yattani claimed that 48% of public money is being used on salaries payments

    In 2014, an audit of the public service payroll revealed that the country was losing over Ksh1.8 billion annually in salary payments to ghost workers. 

    This emerged after 12,500 names of government employees failed to reflect during the biometric registration, forcing the state to strike them off from the payroll at the start of November 2014.

    According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 48 per cent of the public cash is used to pay salaries whereas only 30 per cent is used on development projects.