September 2, 2014 -
The Kenyan government has implemented a new initiative that makes it mandatory for all civil servants to have their biometrics registered in an effort to remove “ghost workers” from its payroll, according to a report by the BBC.
In an official statement, the government said that all public servants who do not register over the next two week period would no longer be paid.
The initiative is designed to curb the thousands of people who the government suspects are still receiving salaries long after leaving the civil service.
As the first person to register, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta told civil servants in Mombasa that biometric registration is in their “best interest” so that they are not “counted as a ghost worker”.
An audit conducted earlier this year found that the government lost a minimum of $1 million a month in payments to “ghost workers”, along with other financial errors.
All government employees have been ordered to visit identification centers over the next two weeks for the biometric registration exercise, and anyone who does not comply without an acceptable excuse will be eliminated from the payroll, according to the statement issued by the government.
The response to the initiative has been mixed, with many critics calling the registration a waste of time because employees will be spending a large portion of their day in queues instead of working.