By PETER OPIYO
An audit of public universities has revealed that the institutions have become incubators of ethnicity.
The institutions are in total violation of the Constitution that demands ethnic and gender balance for all public appointments.
According to the audit conducted in six public universities and nine constituent colleges, majority of staff either come from the same ethnic group as the Vice-Chancellor, the principal or the locality of the institution.
Maseno University did not respond as the Vice Chancellor was yet to settle in his new job. Rongo and Chuka colleges were also left out, as they had not been gazetted at the time of the audit.
Out of the 14,996 workers in the institutions surveyed Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin, Luo and Kisii dominate the institutions of higher learning.
In the audit carried out by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, Kikuyu are the majority at 4,133 (27.6 per cent), Luhya 2,544 (17.0 per cent), Kalenjin 2,133 (14.2), Luo 2,086 (13.9 per cent) and Kisii 1,253 (8.4 per cent).
The Commission noted that the five ethnic groups make up 81 per cent of the workforce in the institutions, leaving the remaining 37 tribes to share out the rest.
According to the audit presented to the Parliamentary Committee on Equal Opportunities, out of the 15 universities audited, 10 had the majority of their employees from the same ethnic group as the vice chancellor/principal.
"The remaining five institutions whose majority employees were not from the same ethnic group as the institutionÂfs chief executive drew the majority of their employees from the Kikuyu community," the audit points out.
Kenyatta University, with a Kikuyu Vice Chancellor, has 38 per cent of staff from her tribe, as is University of Nairobi, ironically headed by a Luo.
Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, with a VC from the Luhya tribe also has a higher number of Kikuyu on its staff at 49.7 per cent. Egerton University. Led by a Kalenjin VC, has 25.9 per cent of staff from the Kikuyu community, while Moi University, also with a Kalenjin as the VC, has 55 per cent of the staff from his tribe. At Masinde Muliro University, headed by a Luhya, 68.9 per cent of the staff is Luhya.