Ethnically skewed employments in counties exposed

 

Counties have been put on the spot with a new report revealing most devolved units are not adhering to the County Government Act that requires they employ at least 30 percent of their workers from less dominant tribes in their regions.

A new report by the national Cohesion and Integrtaion Commission (NCIC) found that only 13 County Assemblies representing 27.6 percent recruited at least 30 percent of their employees from the non-dominant ethnic group while 34 others have employed more than 70 percent from one community.

Kirinyaga and Nandi were found to be the most notorious with all their employees coming from one community.

“The situation is worse in Kirinyaga and Nandi as all the employees are from the dominant group in the precincts of the county,” NCIC chairman Francis ole Kaparo said during the launch of the report dubbed ‘Ethnic and Diversity Audit Report of Public Institutions at their offices in Nairobi today.

Only Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale counties have complied with the law having employed members of diverse communities.

The three research that also covered the composition of staff in 185 parastatals and 15 commissions was conducted in May this year.

“The findings of this report allude to the fact that employment in the County Public Service is not only inequitable but skewed towards dominant groups in the county,” Kaparo said.

Kaparo attributed the trend to corruption, outright disregard of the law and impunity.

“The Public Service Board of these counties is just acting on impunity, they know the law but continue to do the wrong thing,” he said.

On the parastatal sector, the report found out that out of the 185 state corporations surveyed,129 (69.7 percent) complied with the NCIC act as majority of the ethnic group employed did not exceed 33.3 percent.

The report however noted that the dominant communities; Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luhya and Luo are overrepresented by one percent in parastatals.

“Sadly the bigger communities seemed to be overrepresented while the smaller communities were underrepresented,” Kaparo noted.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kenya Revenue Authority are the most compliant state corporation as all of them have employees from over 30 different ethnic communities.

“The three institutions have done exceptionally well but still not yet to our satisfaction, we want them to employ all the 42 tribes because that is the law,” Kaparo said.

The most diverse commission according to the report is the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) which has 29 ethnic communities represented among its staff.

Only the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) flouted the NCIC act as it has 39 percent of its employees from the Kikuyu community.

Kaparo said NCIC will give a specific timelines for the institutions who have not complied with the NCIC Act to do so.

“As a commission we don’t want to be crybabies all the time, it’s time for action and we will give specific timeline for compliance and also give penalties to counties that fail to comply,” he warned.

In the recommendations, NCIC wants the County Public Service Board to undertake annual ethnic and diversity audits of the county public service by submitting their employees’ data to the commission.

It also recommended that all public institutions be required by law to submit a list of all their new recruits to NCIC before employment.

“We want NCIC to be given powers to oversee the recruitment in all public institutions so that all Kenyans can get equal opportunity to serve the country. For now we can only name and shame since the law is not on our side,” Kaparo said.

He also urged politicians to cease interfering with recruitment processes in public institutions noting that recruitment in state corporations are highly influenced by politics.

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