Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Professionals give jobs in devolved units wide berth

Updated Monday, May 13th 2013 at 23:55 GMT +3

This has left governors and their charges in a crisis.
Governors, who have been luring highly qualified persons to join them, have had their requests turned down due to low remuneration.
In Nairobi County, Governor Evans Kidero nominated a top lawyer as Secretary to the County Public Service Board but the lawyer declined the nomination citing low salary that the position attracts. The gross pay for the position, according to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), is between Sh130,000 and Sh160,000.
Best minds
Kidero has now been forced to re-advertise the job.
“SRC should consider reviewing the terms of service for county public officers as a way of attracting the best minds to serve in devolved units,” Dr Kidero said.
The scenario is reflected across the country where several governors say they experienced difficulties in assembling their county executive committee members and public service boards.
The governors interviewed said they had failed to lure experienced individuals that they had wanted to work with as those approached are highly remunerated in their current jobs.
Governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Kinuthia Mbugua (Nakuru), Isaac Rutto (Bomet), Ken Lusaka (Bungoma) and James Ongwae (Kisii) admitted they were facing similar problems.
“The highly qualified professionals are shunning these jobs as they don’t find the terms pleasant,” Dr Mutua said.
Nakuru Governor Mbugua said he was hopeful SRC will review upwards salaries for county executives as a way of attracting most competent individuals.
“Those highly qualified have turned down my offer but I am pursuing others to join my team with hopes that SRC will review their terms,” Mbugua said.
Bomet’s Rutto said: “Several people have turned down my offers for appointment because of low pay,” Rutto said.
Social duty
Bungoma Governor Lusaka yesterday said most of his nominees had accepted his offer not on the basis of salary but as a social responsibility.
“So far, none of my nominees has turned down my appointment. Most of them have taken it as a social responsibility,” Lusaka said.
Kisii Governor James Ongwae decried the low remuneration proposed by SRC, saying the package had discouraged persons with high qualifications.

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