A latest jobs audit by the Public Service Commission (PSC) has revealed that Kikuyus and Kalenjins are over-represented in the civil service.
However, the audit also shows that Somalis, Mijikenda, Turkana, and Luhya were among ethnic groups found to be underrepresented going by their percentages of the 2019 Census.
As at June 2020, there were 45,291 Kikuyus, 21 per cent of the public service, Kalenjins (35,991) making up 16.7 per cent of the 214,606 civil servants.
Both Luos and Luhyas are third, with 25,382 holding public jobs, while in the public service while some 16,167 Kisiis have been at the civil service.
Somalis hold 5,052 posts—which is 2.35 per cent.
The Constitution requires state offices to factor in the balance of gender, ethnicity, persons with disabilities, minorities and the marginalized.
A number of state agencies have yet to live up to the December 2015 PSC diversity policy for ministries, departments and agencies.
The policy provides that ethnic groups whose job representation surpasses their percentage of the population are considered overrepresented.
The Dahalo and Wayyu—largely occupying the North of the Tana River—have no representation in the civil service.
Suba, Swahili, Teso, Tharaka, Samburu, Sakuye, Rendile, Orma, Meru, Mbeere, Maasai, Makonde, Kuria, Embu, Gabra, El Molo, Dorobo, Borana, Burji, Bajuni, Kamba, Ilchalmus, Nubi and Pokomo communities have normal representation.
Ethnicity is a matter of debate ahead of the 2022 general election amid calls for the Kikuyu and Kalenjin to let a person from another community take up the reins from President Uhuru Kenya.
The latest report dated December 2020 showed that a number of state agencies are non-compliant with the law.
PSC chair Stephen Kirogo said there was a need to scale up efforts to improve public service’s compliance with the law.
“For instance, a marginal increase of 0.1 per cent in the representation of PWDs was recorded in 2019-20 compared to the 2018-19 evaluation cycle. Clearly, a lot still has to be done to meet the constitutional threshold of five per cent,” said Kirogo.
The audit further revealed that a total of 789 officers were serving beyond the retirement age of 60 years – or 65 years for persons with disabilities.