What you need to know:
- Recycling individuals who lack new ideas is the surest way of killing the corporations.
- The youth and those from vulnerable groups have largely been left out as retirees take up crucial jobs.
The latest appointments to state corporations bring to the fore the vexed question of merit, equity and diversity. In addition, they renew questions about the government’s commitment to parastatals reforms.
On paper, state appointments should be based on merit and open to all qualified people. Marginalised groups, including the disabled, have to be considered to ensure equitable access to national offices. All regions should be represented to ensure inclusivity and promote national unity.
However, the list issued this past week is replete with same old names of politicians and influential individuals brought on board to serve certain interests. Recycling individuals who lack new ideas is the surest way of killing the corporations.
Moreover, it locks out many qualified individuals who do not have godfathers and connections to get the jobs. Which is not to suggest that all the appointees are incompetent and underserving, but a number are not qualified or suitable for those assignments.
In particular, the youth and those from vulnerable groups have largely been left out as retirees take up crucial jobs. Yet the current administration prides itself on promoting the youth agenda.
Tied to the appointments is the push to transform parastatals to make them viable and productive entities that return dividends to the government. Early in his presidency, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta set up a task force to advise on parastatal reforms, which recommended, among others, scrapping or merging some and remaining with a few that can be managed properly.
However, little has been done to implement the recommendations. The consequence is that the country operates a huge portfolio of parastatals, many of which are unable to sustain themselves.
The government must promote diversity, equity, equality and transparency when selecting individuals for such positions.