Audit on ethnicity in State bodies out next week

March 1, 2012 5:55 am


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) will now release its audit into the ethnic composition of staff employed in parastatals and public universities on Tuesday next week.

The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Equal Opportunities Mohamed Affey said they wanted to know whether parastatals and tertiary institutions have complied with the law that requires equitable distribution of jobs, according to ethnic diversity.

“This is an important report because we want the country to know how beautiful or how ugly our parastatals are… or how beautiful or ugly our university establishments are,” he said adding. “Are they institutions we can be proud of?”

The National Cohesion and Integration Act stipulates that not more than one-third of employees in any government department should be from one ethnic community.

The Act makes discrimination on the basis of ethnic or racial grounds a criminal offence. It bars comparison of persons of different ethnic groups and makes it is illegal to harass another person based on his race or ethnicity.

Halakhe Waqo, a commissioner with the integration commission said they delayed releasing the audit which would show how people from specific ethnic groups dominate particular public institutions.

“Much as the issues are very critical… much as we need a swift move, it is also important that we be strategic in the way we share it out with the public,” he said.

Waqo added; “But that is not say that it’s not a matter of national important but we felt that it should not be delayed any further.”

The audit was carried about following public concern among Kenyans and MPs who claimed that the disparities would explain why Kenyan universities continuously fall in global ratings.

During a debate in the house last year, MPs alleged that the audit would prove a sad state of affairs in the public bodies, where national universities have also become enclaves of ethnicity and nepotism.

MPs cited the top posts in Masinde Muliro, Kenyatta, Maseno, Moi or Pwani Universities which they claimed would reveal how ethnicised university education has become.

Meanwhile, the House team has also finalised their report and recommendations to an NCIC report which probed the ethnic composition in government ministries and the entire civil service.

Affey said they will submit it to the House soon so that their recommendations can be debated and adopted.

The audit released in April last year revealed the Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luo, Luhya, Kamba, Meru and Kisii occupy more than 70 per cent of government jobs.

The Mzalendo Kibunjia-led team said some 20 minority communities have less than one percent presence in public employment.

He recommended that administrative action be taken to ensure that all appointments are not more than a third from one community in ministries and other departments.

The then Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura directed ministries to be more sensitive to ethnic balance in all future secondments.


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