ethnicity and public employment in kenya

The Daily Nation reports:

The survey undertaken by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) gave shocking details of how political patronage and personality-based leadership had reduced the civil service into an exclusive club of the big communities at the expense of the so called small communities.

According to the survey, members of the Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luhya, Kamba and Luo communities occupy 70 per cent of all jobs in the civil service.

Keep in mind that Kenya has about 42 ethnic groups.

I personally did not find this very shocking. The report indicates that the two ethnic groups that have occupied the Kenyan presidency since independence, the Kikuyu and Kalenjin, together make up 40% of the civil service.

My hope is that this report will initiate debate over merit in public employment. It is about time we had standardized and transparent ways of hiring public servants and not leave all the discretion in the hands of venal pols.

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