Senator demands ethnic equity audit in state jobs

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi has accused the Kenya Kwanza government of favouring certain communities in state employment.

He has called for an ethnic equity audit to reveal the extent of the imbalance.

Osotsi, who is the chairman of the County Public Investments and Special Funds Committee in the Senate, said he had asked President William Ruto’s administration to provide a detailed list of names, ethnicity and county of origin of everyone who has been employed by the government in the last year.

He said he expected the list to be made public within 14 days.

“We were told Kenya is a shareholding company going by the way employment opportunities are dished out to particular communities,” Osotsi said at Essong’olo Church of God in a meeting with self-help groups.

The senator cited the recent recruitment of teachers by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the hiring of Revenue Authority (KRA) revenue service assistants, and the latest recruitment of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) as examples of unfair and unbalanced processes.

“Like here in Vihiga County, individuals recruited by TSC are from other tribes. Our people, despite having the requisite qualifications, were left out,” he alleged.

He also claimed that some teachers who graduated less than six months ago secured jobs at the expense of those who graduated in 2010.

“That is unfair. When it comes to being taxed, we pay the heavy price, but when job opportunities come, you start hearing only shareholders will be considered. That’s not the Kenya we want,” he said.

He alleged that only two tribes of over 45 ethnic communities in the country got more than half of the available vacancies, violating Section 7 of the National Cohesion and Integration Act, which states that no public establishment shall have more than one-third of its staff from the same ethnic community.

For KRA revenue staff assistants, he claimed, the Kalenjin and Kikuyu communities got 788 out of the 1,406 jobs advertised.

“The skewed employment must be urgently investigated and the sharing of the national cake reviewed, as we are all taxpayers,” he said.