Kenya, September 28 – Inequalities in ethnic representation in the Kenya Prison Service have been uncovered by a report that was presented to a legislative committee.
According to the breakdown of uniformed officers, Kalenjin has the most with 5,723, Kikuyu is second with 5,335, Kamba is third with 3,278 and Luyha has 2,891. Compared to Luo, Kisii has 2,536 uniformed police officers.
In what seemed to be a pattern, close to 7, 161 officers who were enlisted were from the Kalenjin, Kikuyu, and Kamba groups in the most recent three recruitments in 2019, 2020, and 2022.
Assuring that inclusivity will be of the utmost importance in the next recruitment process, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki acknowledged the inequities when presenting the report on the employment possibilities and changes in Kenya Prisons before the National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity Committee.
Orma (75), Rendile (62), Taveta (39) and Dorobo (27), Elmolo (3), Kenya European (1), and Kenya Arab (1), are the ethnic groups with the lowest representation.
Kindiki acknowledged that the country’s top prison officer recruitment procedure had flaws.
Kindiki spoke out against the outsourcing of top officers on Thursday when he testified before the National Assembly Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunities.
He pointed out that ‘flawed’ procedures have a detrimental effect on career officers’ motivation as they strive to advance to the highest levels of the organization.
Kindiki revealed that the government is creating a detailed roadmap and matrix to simplify career advancement and succession planning in the Kenya Prisons Service and other uniformed security agencies in order to allay these worries.
Kindiki emphasized that the goal of this effort is to give young officers the chance to advance to managerial positions through a clear and open approach.
He continued by saying that the road map would end instances of favoritism, corruption, and patronage.
The CS said that the service now has 31,227 officers overall, with 23,878 male officers and 7,349 female officers. It also stated that the government is actively developing methods to close the current staffing shortfall.
He further stated that there is no hiring discrimination and that Kenya Prisons Service employees are diverse representations of Kenyans.
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According to Kindiki, no ethnic group makes up more than one-third of the uniformed employees.
Kindiki stated that the State Department for Correctional Services will continue to encourage communities across to apply for opportunities whenever they are posted and take part in the recruitment of officers at the Sub-County level in order to advance equity in the hiring of prison officers.
The Interior CS made an appeal to the public for information on officers who request and/or accept payments in exchange for swift legal action.
He emphasized the government’s steadfast dedication to eradicating corruption.