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Governors welcome redeployment of 62,000 staff after lapse of term

By Faith Rono | March 15th 2015

Kenya: The Council of Governors (CoG) has welcomed Government's plan to redeploy staff who had been seconded to counties following the lapse of their three-year term in counties.

The over 60,000 staff sourced from across the 18 ministries were moved to counties when devolution took off in 2013 for a period of three years ending this year.

CoG Chairman Isaac Ruto said some employees did not fit into the county structure, making it difficult for them to meet expectations.

Mr Ruto spoke as the Public Service Commission (PSC) moved to assure affected staff that they will not be retrenched in the exercise that seeks to fine-tune hiring and secondment criteria in the sector.

"Even those who used to work in the defunct county council need to be redeployed if they are not absorbed by counties. Governors will not hesitate to release any staff from the national government who will not be absorbed by county governments," he said Ruto.

PSC Chair Margaret Kobia said the 62,000 employees will be re-deployed to the national government if they fail to secure employment in their respective counties.

This means that county governments will be forced to hire new staff once the directive that is being spearheaded by an inter-governmental committee is implemented before the end of this year.

At least 45,000 officers working in the ministry of health will be affected with the remaining 17,000 being spread across the 17 ministries.

"We are looking at finalising this exercise before the end of the year. We have an inter-governmental committee working on the logistics to just establish how many employees have already been absorbed by the counties," Prof Kobia said in an interview with The Standard.

She continued: "But people will not lose jobs because if you have not been hired officially by the county governments then you will automatically be required to report back to your respective ministry."

Another 600 civil servants seconded to the National Land Commission from the Ministry of Lands will also be redeployed to the ministry.

Kobia said the new development has been occasioned by "divided loyalty" among employees, consequently affecting overall productivity and performance.

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"This kind of approach is not working well. It is problematic because it now appears that there are two employers — national government and county governments. We want governors to be fully in charge of their human resource. After all they are employers by their own right," she said.

She pointed out that holding seconded civil servants accountable for their actions has been a challenge, adding that having a clear chain of command will help track the performance of all workers.

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