NAIROBI, KENYA: New governors have been warned to stop any further laying-off of county workers or risk legal action leading to their ejection from office.
The Ombudsman advised all governors to carry out an elaborate human resource and financial audit before they take any action on the county staff found culpable.
And if they have fired anyone, the Ombudsman also wants the county bosses to revert their decision as they wait for the full process on retrenchment of staff to take place.
A section of governors embarked on a firing spree after taking office on what some described as a cleanup exercise from what their predecessors left.
In another twist however, governors who defended their positions for a second term are said to have fired staff workers who did not support their re-election bid.
Ombudsman called on the governors to put on hold any action they intend to take against employees of county government whose positions are protected under the law.
Acting Chairperson in the Office of the Ombudsman, Dr Regina Mwatha said what the governors are doing (have done) amounts to abuse of office as per Article 59 and Chapter Six of the constitution on integrity.
Mwatha said the action by governors also contravenes the Commission on Administrative Act: "For which action can be taken against the Governors, including their removal from office."
Mwatha said such acts expose the counties to unnecessary legal issues by affected employees leading to huge legal costs to be paid out of public funds.
She said no county worker should be kicked out for not supporting a governor's re-election bid as they are public servants and are not supposed to get involved in politics.