Governors headache to solve ethnic imbalance in county jobs

Five counties have been put on the spot over skewed employment, with dominant ethnic communities hogging the plum posts. According to a report by Auditor General Edward Ouko covering the 2015/2016 financial year, ethnicity carried the day, with some of the governors employing only those from particular tribes, who take up to 98 per cent of appointments. The counties cited for skewed employment are Kisii, Migori, Nyamira, Homa Bay and Kisumu. Section 65(1e) of the County Governments Act, 2012, requires that at least 30 per cent of vacant posts at entry level be filled by candidates who are not from the dominant ethnic community. In his report, Ouko placed Kisii County on the spot for employing more than 97 per cent of staff from the same ethnic community. In Nyamira and Migori counties, dominant ethnic communities took about 91 per cent and 74 per cent respectively, with the auditor noting that Migori lacked an approved staff establishment. Kisumu County employed 295 staff during the year, out of which 92 per cent were from the dominant ethnic community. In Homa Bay County, however, Governor Cyprian Awiti’s government only gave a single slot to other ethnic communities. During the period under review, the county employed 108 employees with the dominant ethnic community taking 107 slots. And taxpayers could be losing millions of shillings during the transfer of funds from the county treasuries to the county assemblies and other departments. Reports by the Auditor General and the Controller of Budget have unearthed glaring discrepancies during the transfers, with the figures released by a number of county executives not matching the records at Treasury and the approved amounts. The executives of Kisii, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori counties, however, could not explain the discrepancies that were recorded during the 2015/2016 financial year. In Kisumu County, for instance, up to Sh131 million could have been lost when the executive was transferring money to the county assembly. According to another report by Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo for the same period, the executive released Sh533 million to the assembly while in its financial statements, the executive inflated the figure to Sh620 million. In Kisii County, up to Sh272 million could have been lost during cash transfers done from the coffers of the county executive treasury. The money was supposed to be sent to the county assembly. [email protected]
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