Women, youth join State jobs furore

What you need to know:

  • Leaders backing Uhuru say there was no way to satisfy all the 42 tribes in Kenya
  • Criticism of parastatal heads appointments continues to fly

The appointment of 26 parastatal heads by President Kenyatta has continued to attract criticism.

Most leaders said women and youth were short-changed and regional diversity was ignored.

National Gender and Equality Commission chairperson Winfred Lichuma said the appointments went against gender and inclusion principles envisaged in the Constitution.

“We are disturbed that the appointments appear to fly in the face of gender equality and inclusion principles for the women, youth and persons with disability as espoused by the letter and spirit of the Constitution,” she said.


However, Loitoktok MP Katoo ole Metito dismissed those saying the appointments focused on two communities, arguing with 42 tribes in the country, there was no way the President could satisfy all of them.

“I am sure more ethnic balance will be portrayed in composition of the boards of the 26 corporations and there should be no cause for worry,” he said.

In a twist, the MP faulted the appointments on account that youth and women appeared to be left out, adding that, board of director compositions should have 70 per cent from the two groups to make up for the shortfall.

Mr Metito also defended the appointment of former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura, saying the Lamu port project required experienced hands in public administration, saying he would be able to handle the intra-county and inter-governments coordination required to see the project through.

The youth were also not left out as the National Youth Council asked the President to revoke the appointments and seek wider consultations before selection.

The Council’s chairman, Mr Clement Ayungo said youth and women should each get a third of the posts, with five per cent going to the disabled.

Elsewhere, Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi said the appointment of retirees like Mr Muthaura was a sign the Jubilee government was reneging on the promise to offer youth more jobs.

Speaking to Journalists on Monday in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County, Mr Sudi said: “While doing our campaigns, we as leaders of the Jubilee Coalition told Kenyans that 30 per cent of government appointments would go to the youth, but I am personally saddened and disappointed by the President’s appointment of Muthaura,” he said.

Adding weight to the criticism, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa faulted the Jubilee government for abandoning its allies, former Constitutional Affairs minister Eugene Wamalwa and UDF leader Musalia Mudavadi, in the key appointments.

But a cross section of North Rift leaders commended the selection saying it will enable the Jubilee government fulfil its pre-election pledges.

“Those appointed deserve the positions since they are experienced and qualified individuals,” said Mr Paul Tanui arap Tumbo of Barsombe, Uasin Gishu.

He warned against politicizing of the appointments noting that it was the prerogative of the President to name whoever to serve in his government.

Others in support were a cross-section of Elgeyo-Marakwet leaders and NGOs in the region who welcomed the appointment of Ms Linah Jebii Kilimo to head the Anti-Female Genital Mutilation board.

Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi praised the appointments and in particular that of Mr Muthaura as he dismissed criticism by a section of leaders in the region.

On Sunday, Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki had asked the President to reconsider the selection from the region saying it was in favour of a small area in the larger Meru.

This comes as politicians led by Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi are expected to hold a rally at Kinoru Stadium today to make known their displeasure on the appointments allegedly favouring a small area in Meru.

But Mr Murungi argued that the leaders were “not entirely correct’’ on their claims of unequal distribution of posts.