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Fear of discrimination grips public service ahead of staff audit

15 July 2014, 15:15 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Fear has gripped the public service following the government's announcement that it will do an audit of all staff at both national and county level.

The announcement made Monday by devolution secretary Ann Waiguru is meant to ensure that there is restructuring and reforming of the public service to make it more efficient and effective.

She also insisted that the process will be done in a fair process that will uphold the highest standards of professionalism.

It is understood that the process will be done by the help of external experts to avoid bias.

That though has not made any difference to the thousands of workers under the public service banner, many of who feel the process will be politicized.

A brief survey across government offices in Nairobi confirmed the worst; public servants fear the process will be hijacked by political interests.

" The fear here is that the process will be politicized badly. You know the current political climate is not good and some of us fear losing our jobs purely because of where we come from, a mid level officer at the Ministry of Education who did not want to be named for fear of discrimination told News24.

According to others interviewed, the process begun several months ago with the influx of contracted personnel from politically 'friendly' tribes to the government and they say their roles have been duplicated.

A former ministry of works official named Simon (Second name withheld) says he was sacked in April after missing work for three days due to illness and one of the contracted persons took over his place.

" It has been in action unofficially. They have been replacing us and this process will just legitimize it, he says.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced earlier in the year that there are thousands of ghost workers in government who will have to be weeded out and even though it is true, workers feel it will be used as a smokescreen to bundle them out of work.

" There is bound to be fear when such processes come around, both for good and bad reasons. Fear of losing jobs is genuine for those who know they are bound to leave and for many others who also feel the process will be hijacked, Vincent Kiringa a former public servant turned businessman says.

According to Waiguru, the current dispensation has made it imperative to realign structures, processes, programmes, institutions and staffing to core mandates to ensure a responsive public service that meets the expectations of Kenyans.

Public servants though want to be assured it will be a straightforward process like she says. Few believe it will be so.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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