The Fight Against Corruption and Nepotism: Perspectives from Koskei and Other Experts


Felix Koskei, the Government Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, has raised concerns over persistent corruption and nepotism in employment in Counties thus affecting service delivery.

Koskei noted escalating corruption incidents, where politically connected individuals illegally acquire public funds through misuse of tendering, procurement, and revenue collection systems.

He raised alarm over illegal payments to duplicated works, where County governments employees collude in paying for projects that have been undertaken by the National government.

Speaking in Naivasha during the ongoing Intergovernmental Relations Symposium, Koskei regretted the interference in the employment of unskilled, unqualified, and inexperienced staff in most Counties, which he noted has affected the quality of service delivery.

Consequently, he raised concerns over the bloated workforce in Counties, which has seen most of budgetary allocations go to recurrent expenditures, at the expense of development that uplifts the lives of the residents.

“Increased corruption incidences have overrun Counties and all efforts are needed to tame the vice because it is unbearable”, stressed Koskei. Hence, he urged county heads, to uphold professionalism, good governance, expertise, patriotism, and selflessness in their role to combat corruption for public good.

The Public Service Head pointed out some counties for failing to adhere to principles of ethnic inclusivity and diversity in their workforce with most counties drawing their workforce from one ethnic tribe.

“It is alarming that over 90 percent of employees in up to 40 Counties, come from one ethnic tribe where officers publicly use local languages in official duties,” said Koskei.

Thus, failure to adhere to ethical standards in employing the right staff, systems, prudent use of resources, and political interference continues to drawback the expected successes of devolved units in the last decade.

According to the National Commission and Integration Commission [NCIC] 2023 Report on Ethnic and Diversity Audit in Public Service, over 80 percent of jobs in the country are dominated by only 10 tribes.

The Report which was released four months ago, indicates that the Kalenjin tribe leads by 15.83 percent, Kikuyu at 15.77 percent, Luhyas at 11.6 percent and Luos by 9.81 percent while one percent of jobs represent 29 tribes.

On the other hand, the Report showed that only four minority ethnic groups Somali 4.3 percent, Maasai at 4 percent, Turkana at 1.92 percent, and Taita at 1.56 percent are most represented in County public service.

In addition, it merged in its findings that only 13 percent out of 47 Counties are compliant with the law on hiring including Narok, Tharaka Nithi, Taita Taveta, Embu, Busia, Trans Nzoia, Nakuru, Mombasa, Isiolo, Tana River and Nairobi.

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