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Why are retirees serving govt? MPs ask

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15- The government was on Wednesday morning put to task over officers who have attained the mandatory retirement age of 60, but who still continue serving in the Public Service.

The matter, which was raised by Nyaribari Chache MP Robert Monda in Parliament, saw Local Government PS Karega Mutahi (68), Finance PS Joseph Kinyua (60) and Energy PS Patrick Nyoike (64) singled out as some of those who had reached the retirement age but were still in service.

The legislators accused the Executive of favoritism demanding to know why such officials were still in office.

Attempts by Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno to justify their continued service on the grounds of expertise fell on deaf ears as the legislators dismissed him.

“Could the Minister tell us which expertise Prof Mutahi has taken to the Ministry of Local Government while we are still complaining that he led to the loss of billions of shillings through Free Primary Education?” asked Gwassi MP John Mbadi.

Gender Permanent Secretary James Nyikal (60), was also mentioned alongside Kenya Revenue Authority’s Michael Waweru (60) and Alexander Kaminchia (66) of the Kenya National Assurance.

“Permanent Secretaries are political appointments and expertise is solely determined by the appointing authority. As regards all other public servants, their expertise has to be expressly indicated during the processing of their contracts,” he said.

The government policy on retirement of public officers is that they retire on the attainment of the age 60, with the exemption of Judges and academic staff in public universities.

Members of Parliament at the same time passed a Motion seeking to compel the government to conduct a baseline survey that would ensure equitable distribution of resources, once the county governments are established.

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Planning Minister Wycliff Oparanya said the government would conduct the study before the resources are distributed so as to ensure that it has reliable data.

He however noted that his ministry faced inadequate funding to carry out the exercise adding that there was need to set up a law that would ensure such studies are conducted every five years.

He also revealed that his ministry was at times forced to rely on donors to carry out simple surveys for planning purposes.

“We had planned to carry out a survey in the year 2010, but this was not possible because we made our proposal to Treasury asking for Sh600 to carry out the survey but to this moment, this has not been availed to us,” he said.

MPs had earlier put the government to task arguing that its population surveys often focused on urban areas.

Naivasha MP John Mututho said such surveys must be comprehensive to ensure resources reached those in the grassroots.

“We are saying that as we implement the new Constitution we must take caution so that we don’t start with a false start because we shall not get to Vision 2030 if we get the basics wrong,” he said.

The legislators further demanded to know what the government was doing to control the Hyacinth weed that threatens fish populations in Lake Victoria.

Environment Assistant Minister Ramadhan Seif Kajembe however assured the MPs that the government had already sought consultants over the issue and a report on the same was due before the end of the month.

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He added that the East African communities had also joined forces to seek a common position over how to fight it.


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