Five ethnic groups dominate jobs in public service – report

Friday, September 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Public Service and Gender CS Margaret Kobia.

Hillary Mageka  @hillarymageka

 Kenya’s five most populous ethnic groups continue to dominate the top civil service jobs in the country, a new report on the ethnic and regional distribution of high cadre jobs in public service has revealed.

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Prof Margaret Kobia says that the four- Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luhya, Luo and Kamba are the most dominating State jobs among the 48 tribes.

According to the report, other large ethnic groups dominating the civil service jobs are Kisii, Meru, Maasai and Mijikenda.

However, whereas the “Big Five” tribes control lucrative jobs, some 15 tribes do not have a single representation in the top management in civil service, the report details.

Out of the 417 senior level management in ministries and departments, the Kikuyu community hold 120 of the 416 senior positions in government.

They are closely followed by the Kalenjin tribe with 45 positions, Luo (41), Luhya (33), Kamba (27), Meru (27) and Kisii (22).

Others are Maasai (19), Mijikenda (10), Taita (eight), Turkana (seven), Boran (seven) and Embu (six).

The rest are Kenyan Asian (one), Gabra (three), Degodia (one), Kenyan Arabs (two), Kuria (three), Mbeere (two), Ogaden (one), Orma (two), other Kenyan (one), Pokot (three), Samburu (one), Shirazi (one),  Teso (four) and Tharaka (one).

Details were tabled on Thursday at the Senate Committee on National Cohesion, Equal Opportunity and Regional Integration in response to a question by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala.

Policy direction

Report covers ethnic and regional distribution of high cadre jobs in ministries, embassies, missions, State agencies and parastatals.

Positions include head of Public Service, Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries, principal secretaries, Principal Administrative Secretaries (PAS), Director General, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and heads of departments.

Report shows that out of 180 heads and chief executive officers of 286 State corporations, 36 are Kikuyu, Kalenjin (35), Luo (26), Luhya (18), Meru (13) and Kamba (10).

Out of 51 heads of foreign missions, 14 are Kikuyu, Kalenjin (seven), Luo (five), Luhya (five), Kamba (four) and Meru (three).

Malala had requested the ministry to provide information on ethnic and regional distribution of high cadre jobs in government ministries, State agencies, departments and parastatals.

Ministry of Public Service and Gender is mandated to provide policy direction and management of the human resource function in the public service as well as promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women and youth.

Senior positions

Kobia noted that ethnic representation in the service is examined against the corresponding national population proportion. 

The Minister said that a comparative analysis of the total number of top managers across government in comparison with the 2019 census shows that all counties are represented.

Kobia noted that top cadre jobs were interpreted to mean senior positions in job groups T and above and their equivalents in State corporations and agencies.

She named them as Head of Public Service, Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Principal Administrative Secretaries, Director General, Chief Executive Officers and Heads.

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