The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) is now under scrutiny as it has emerged that about 65 percent of its employees come from the four major ethnic groups.
According to a new internal report by KNEC, the ethnic composition in the agency is imbalanced and only a small percentage of the remaining ethnic groups have been represented.
The remaining 44 ethnic groups have been left to grapple for the remaining percentage of the jobs which are approximated at 34.96 percent.
In December 2015, the Public Service Commission had released a state policy that allows for ethnic diversity in terms of representation in state ministries, agencies, and departments
The PSC policy stipulated that ethnic groups whose job representation surpasses their corresponding national population proportion are considered to be over-represented. In this case, the big four groups have been over-represented at KNEC.
Kenya has about 70 distinct tribes but most public office positions are occupied by the big four ethnic groups despite them constituting less than half of the total population.
The Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, and Kalenjin are the most prominent groups in Kenya and are characterized by occupying most government positions and other senior positions in the country.
Devolution had come in handy to reduce the dominance of these ethnic groups by decentralizing government ministries and agencies but in the end, counties only employed those who are natives of the regions.
The aspect of nepotism has been the reason why many people are unemployed in Kenya and those employed are facing unfavorable working conditions.
The probability of getting a job in a public office if you are related to the people at the top positions is very high. This trend would continue until almost every employee comes from the boss’s tribe.
KNEC is not the only government agency with the ethnic imbalance in the provision of jobs, the hiccup cuts across other state ministries and departments too.
The PSC policy should be enacted to help deal with the problem of ethnic over-representation through the setting of hiring quotas, which will also give a steak to the disadvantaged and disabled groups.