The top positions in the Civil Service, State departments and Kenya’s foreign missions are dominated by members of the Kikuyu community, a committee of the Senate heard on Thursday. 

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margret Kobia told the committee on National Cohesion that there are 417 senior level management positions in the Civil Service and State corporations.

Eighty per cent of public service positions are held by six communities.

These include Cabinet secretaries, chief administrative secretaries, principal secretaries and all officers holding jobs in groups T, U, and V. Currently, there are 22 Cabinet secretaries, 26 chief administrative secretaries and 42 principal secretaries.

The CS said that on the ethnic and regional distribution of high cadre jobs in the Government shows the Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luo, Luhya, Kamba and Kisii dominate these plum positions.Out of the 416 top management positions in the civil service, one community holds 120.

This is 29 per cent of the total number of the ethnic diversity of top management in the civic service and twice as much as the Kalenjin community, which has 11 per cent (45) of the total workforce.

While there are 286 parastatals and State corporations, the CS provided a list of only 180 which suggest that the Kikuyu are represented by 36 CEOs, followed by the Kalenjin (35), Luo (26), Luhya (18) and Kamba 10.

Out of the 61 foreign missions/embassies, the CS told the committee session chaired by Nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga, only 52 missions have heads. Two missions are headed by one ambassador, suggesting that the total number of active ambassadors are 51.

Even here, the Kikuyu have 14 heads of missions, followed by the Kalenjin with seven, Luhya and Luo have five each while the Kamba have four.

CS Kobia told the committee the government still endevours to adhere to the policy on regional balancing and affirmative action during recruitment and promotion of staff while maintaining the need to ensure professionalism and meritocracy.

“Experience, qualification and competencies are considered alongside regional balancing. In any case, senior positions in government are competitively filled through advertisements and interviews,” she told the committee.

However, the committee members argued the report displayed skewed distribution of jobs and urged the CSs to rectify the situation to give the unrepresented communities “a sense of belonging”.

Kobia, however, defended the ministry on the skewed job distribution, saying deliberate efforts have been put in place to ensure the civil service has the face of Kenya.

Other tribes that make up top 10 of the ethnic groups enjoying plum jobs in the civil service include Masaai with 4.2 per cent, Somalis 4.3 per cent and Mijikienda at 2.4 per cent.

The Rendille have no person in the top management of civil service. The 2019 population census showed that the Kikuyu comprised 17.2 per cent of the total population while the Luhya represented 14.3 per cent, Kalenjin 13.4 per cent, Kamba 10.7 per cent and Luo 9.8 per cent.


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