Head of Public Service decries graft, nepotism in counties

Head of Public Service Felix Koskei. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

The Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei, has raised the red flag over runaway graft, nepotism and recruitment of unqualified staff by county governments.

Koskei said the move to employ ‘politically’ correct individuals by governors has led to increased cases of graft, wastage of public resources and low absorption of development funds.

This emerged during the Intergovernmental Relations Symposium in Sawela Lodge, Naivasha, organized by the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC).

Addressing the symposium, the Head of Public Service warned that graft was ravaging counties, leading to poor service delivery to the people.

He noted that in some cases, fake contractors were seeking payment for work done by the national government with the support of county officers.

“Graft is becoming unbearable in counties, and the president is leading the fight from the front, and anyone found culpable will bear the consequences alone,” he said.

Koskei said most counties had employed workers from the same community.

He noted that county assemblies were the most affected and a report by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) had uncovered the rot in the counties.

“According to the latest report by NCIC, over 90 per cent of workers in some counties come from the same community, and this is wrong,” he said.

“Fourteen years after devolution came into force, counties still have challenges, and this has been brought about by graft, high staff turnover, and nepotism,” he added.

Devolution Principal Secretary Teresia Mbaika called for dialogue between the national and county governments to resolve disputes instead of going to courts.

“Currently, there are weak intergovernmental relations, lack of communication, and through consultations, many of the disputes can be resolved easily,” she said.

IGRTC Chairman Kithinji Kiragu said they were working on the final report on the transfer of all devolved functions in line with the Constitution.

“We have engaged the Attorney General and soon the Council of Governors on the transfer of functions before making our recommendations before the set deadline,” he said.