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State workers idle after merger

By Felix Olick and Ally Jamah | July 29th 2013

By Felix Olick and Ally Jamah

Nairobi, Kenya: The Civil Service has been rocked by confusion with hundreds of Government employees sitting idle in various State departments for lack of clear job descriptions.

Several weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta laid the structure of his Government, the mix-up has persisted following the clumping together of ministries and is threatening service delivery.

The Standard has established that the mess is more pronounced in major dockets such as Devolution and Planning where up to seven ministries were collapsed into one department.

Ironically, the Directorate of Public Service Management that is charged with reorganisation and rationalisation of government personnel falls under the giant ministry.

“You may think there is a go-slow in the offices. There are so many people doing the same thing and I can tell you the morale is really low. There are fears that some people would be demoted or even sacked,” said a Government employee who did not want to be quoted for fear of reprisal.

President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto had reduced the number of ministries from 44 to the current 18 in an ambitious effort to come up with a lean Government.

Sources reveal that senior cadre staff in areas such as finance and budget, supply and human resources are up in arms with each other over who remains in charge.

Not diminished

But speaking to The Standard, Planning Principal Secretary Peter Magiti maintained that harmonisation and rationalisation was ongoing and that all staff would be placed.

Magiti said that Government functions have only been brought together but not diminished.

“The restructuring will be concluded as soon as possible. The earlier the better so that we can reap the benefits of this new system,” he said.

Director of Public Service Management Juster Nkoroi dismissed as speculations that many civil servants were sitting idle.

Nkoroi maintained that the Government has embarked on aggressive reorganisation and rationalisation that would take approximately two weeks.

“This is a massive exercise and our teams are working to redefine the organisational structure of the ministries. But people are in their offices and service delivery continues uninterrupted,” she insisted.

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