, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 3 – The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) has read mischief into the biometric registration of public servants launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday.
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has accused the government of using it as a “back-door” means of sacking workers given the details of government workers are already entered into a database.
“The Kenya government was among the first African governments to computerise records for its employees including their salaries. Consequently, it has been the duty of the personnel officer in charge of individual department to inform the agent Ministry and Treasury on retirements of staff or deaths and immediately such employees are removed from government payroll,” he explained.
He therefore said President Kenyatta’s government was using the biometric registration as a ploy to lessen the wage burden, particularly in the counties.
“With so many levels of governance, in less than three years the government will not be able to meet its financial obligations,” Atwoli stated.
Regardless, Atwoli said, COTU “cannot accept,” what he described as the, “intimidation, harassment and ill-advised,” demands President Kenyatta’s government was now making of civil servants; including demanding their letters of appointment.
“Most of the Kenyans lost their original documents during the 2007-2008 post-election violence. So let somebody come out openly, transparently and tell Kenyans that the country’s wage bill is too high and the government cannot meet the monthly wages for its employees,” he demanded.
When President Kenyatta launched the exercise on Monday, he explained that biometric registration would allow his government to do away with the ghost worker problem that has plagued many an administration. READ: Biometric listing of public servants gets underway.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Karanja Kibichio said it would also allow government to restructure and obtain the expertise so badly needed.
“It’s ironic that we have a bloated workforce but not the expertise needed to run efficiently,” he said as the biometric registration exercise kicked off on Monday.