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NCIC Report Show The Kikuyu Community Dominates The Employee Composition of All Commissions in Kenya From IEBC to EACC

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Traditional narrative divides legal and political power in Government among the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. The resulting question of who inspects the classical three arms of Government and their incidental institutions has necessitated the establishment of commissions whose main objective is to secure the observance by all state organs of democratic values and principles. With such a momentous task, commissions ought to operate beyond reproach in regard to observance of the said values and principles.

The Ethnic and Diversity Audit of commissions was carried out in 2016 with the aim of finding out the ratio of the various ethnic groups who comprise the current staff of commissions, assessing the compliance of commissions with the National
Cohesion and Integration Act, No. 12 of 2008 and identifying ethnic representation among Commissioners. Using the quantitative approach, the study employed the census methodology and collected data from all the 15 commissions in Kenya.

Cohesion and Integration Act, No. 12 of 2008 and identifying ethnic representation among Commissioners. Using the quantitative approach, the study employed the census methodology and collected data from all the 15 commissions in Kenya.

With a total of 5,679 staff in all commissions, 93% comply with the NCI Act, 2008 as they have not employed more than 33.3% of their staff from one ethnic group.

With a total of 5,679 staff in all commissions, 93% comply with the NCI Act, 2008 as they have not employed more than 33.3% of their staff from one ethnic group.

Only one of the 15 surveyed commissions flouted the Act. The Judicial Service Commission flouted section 7(2) of the NCI Act (2008) by employing 39% of its employees from one ethnic community, the Kikuyu.

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The study reveals that the most represented ethnic community in the employment of commissions is the Kikuyu which forms 22.2% of the employees. Other dominant groups include the Kalenjin (12.8%), Kamba (11.3%), Luhya (11.1%) and Luo (9.4%) communities. Notably, employment within the commissions has also included minority communities such as the Maasai, Njemps, Rendille, Orma and the Ogiek to mention but a few. Nevertheless, it was evident that only 19.6% of all commission positions are occupied by staff of such minority origin.

The Kikuyu community dominates the employee composition of all commissions save for the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) at 18% and the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) at 25% that are predominantly Luo.

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When the representation of ethnic groups in commissions is compared to that of the national population, the study noted both overrepresentation and underrepresentation of some ethnic communities. While the Kikuyu community accounts for 17.7% of the national population, it has a proportion of 22.2% in commission employment, a variance that would easily be used to bring in some of the underrepresented or “forgotten” ethnic groups. Groups such as the Kalenjin and Maasai are relatively proportional; while the Meru and Kuria are underrepresented. A notable concern is the non-representation of the Dasenach, Galla, Konso, Waat, Galjeel, Isaak, Leysan and Gosha ethnic groups, to which this research refers to as the “forgotten” ethnic groups.

The study used the richness of the population of employees to establish its diversity. In that regard, the Parliamentary Service Commission has 29 ethnic communities in its staff, being the highest among all commissions. However, using the mean to establish diversity evenness, the Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) turned out to be the most diverse commission with a mean of 2.4, followed by the Judicial Service Commission at 2.9 and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission at 3.0.

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The study demonstrates that the workforce of commissions which have regional presence is more diverse. As such, commissions that have decentralized offices are likely to have more ethnic groups than those that have only one office in Nairobi.

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Some of these include the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC). The composition of the members of the Board of commissions in Kenya includes 20 ethnic groups spanning from the majority Kikuyu, Luo and Luhya to the minority Turkana, Gabbra, Kuria and Njemps among others. Most of the Commissioners appointed belong to the Kikuyu community which forms 16.5% of the commissioners.

Unlike Commissioners, the CEOs of commissions are drawn from a leaner scope of ethnic groups. The CEOs of the 15 commissions belong to eight ethnic groups. The majority of them are from the Luhya community with a proportion of 26.7%.

However, worth noting is the gender representation among CEOs, which is in the spirit of the Constitution. Female CEOs are composed of 33% while 67% are male. The study recommends that the President and the parliament should include at least one person from the minority communities in each appointment to a commission. Further, there is need for parliament to review Article 250(4) of the Constitution – the law forming all commissions – to have appointments

Accommodate all ethnic groups as opposed to reflecting regional balance.

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Further, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunities should support NCIC in the development of policies that will enhance the participation of ethnic minority and marginalized groups in the general labor market and specifically in public service employment.

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There is also need to make commissions grassroots oriented to improve service but majorly to strengthen diversity in employment. It would be an opportunity to strategically tap into areas where minority groups have a say, away from the competitive nature of national exposure. Furthermore, each Commission should endeavor to make the advertisements for job vacancies in a way that accommodates some of the rudimentary strategies applicable at the grassroots to add on to the two dailies approach.

Moreover, it necessitates the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to form a deliberate and progressive formula to create a balance of the “seemingly minorities against the perceptive majority” through generating an Ethnic Quota Recruitment System or Strategy for all commissions. Finally, there is a need for NCIC to develop a draft of the Minimum Standards and Principles for Recruitment, as well as train staff of all commissions to ensure inclusiveness and diversity within such institutions.


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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@protonmail.com]

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