NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – A report by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission has revealed that tribalism, nepotism and corruption continue to be experienced in public recruitment in national institutions despite existing legal provisions.
The Ethnic and Diversity Audit Reports of Public Institutions released on Monday indicated that larger communities are overly presented compared to the smaller ones.
NCIC Chairperson Francis ole Kaparo noted that recruitment in counties continues to contravene the law with only 15 counties having given more than 30pc of vacancies to members of ethnic groups not dominant there.
Kaparo stated that the survey shows that employment in County Public Service Boards is not only inequitable but skewed towards the dominant groups in the county.
The report on independent commissions showed that 93 percent comply with the National Cohesion and Integration (NCI) Act, 2008 having employed less than 33.3pc of their staff from one ethnic group.
“Only one of the 15 surveyed commissions flouted the Act i.e. the Judicial Service Commission which draws 39pc of its employees from the Kikuyu, the NCIC chair said.
Public institutions that have decentralized offices such as Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission (IEBC) and the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) are likely to have more ethnic groups than those that have only one office in Nairobi.
In terms of ethnic diversity, State corporations with offices in different counties were more compliant.
The most diverse institution is the Kenya Ports Authority which has recruited 34 ethnic groups followed by the Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Revenue Authority who all have 30 ethnic groups within their staffing.
Kaparo expressed disappointment in the performance of counties in their new appointments, most of which are not in accordance with the NCI Act, 2008.
In the report, only 15 counties have adhered to section 65 of the CGA by giving more than 30pc of the vacancies at entry level to members of ethnic groups that are not dominant in their precincts, while 32 counties have hired more than 70 percent of their staff from one ethnic group.
“This implies that in spite of the existing law, new recruitments continue to contravene the provisions of the law,” said Kaparo.
Counties such as Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale with 33 and Nakuru 31 were said to be the most diverse while others such as Kirinyaga, Nandi and Nyeri with 9, 10 and 11 respectively had very few ethnic groups.
“This report affirms that counties with many ethnic groups tended to adhere to legal expectations but counties with leaner ethnic group representation tended to flout the provision of the CGA,” said Kaparo.
In county assemblies, only 13 have recruited at least 30 percent of their employees from the non-dominant ethnic group while 34 County Assemblies have employed more than 70pc from one dominant ethnic group in the County.
Two County Assemblies i.e. Kirinyaga and Nandi, have recruited only one ethnic group in the entire assembly workforce.
But the latest findings are likely to also pour cold water on the many campaigns that have been put in place to reduce disparities in employment, some of which have been caused by unfair recruitment policies of successive regimes.
Kaparo emphasised the need for diverse representation of communities within governance organs at county level to ensure the protection and promotion of the interests and rights of all citizens.
“Recommendations across state corporations suggested that employment is highly influenced by politics, as such, politicians must cease interfering with recruitment processes in public institutions,” noted the NCIC chair.
Given the high contravention rates among public institutions, the following recommendations were highlighted in the report, i.e.
– Council of Governors, chairs of public service boards and intergovernmental relations agencies should initiate an inter-county transfer system by the council.
– NCIC to be given more powers to scrutinise and superintend recruitment by public institutions before the hiring process is concluded.
– Improving the working environment for non-dominant communities a well encouraging the use of local languages in public spaces within the County Offices.
The report also recommends that employment organs in state corporations should be subjected to modular lessons on representation of diversity as one of the values and principles of the public service.
“There is also need to make public institutions grassroots (county offices) oriented not only to improve service delivery but also to strengthen diversity in employment,” stated Kaparo, ” It would be an opportunity to strategically tap into areas where minority groups have a say, away from the competitive nature of national exposure.”
The Ethnic and Diversity Audit of the County Public Service was carried out in 185 parastatals, 15 Independent Commissions and 47 County Governments.