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Siaya Governor James Orengo has termed the Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria’s proposal to end permanent jobs in public service as a ludicrous idea that cannot hold water in any democratic country.

Orengo expressed astonishment at how a cabinet secretary could conceive such an idea, warning that the government should be wary of such individuals.

While addressing residents of Gem at Rambula on Friday, the governor emphatically dismissed the idea, noting that no employment arrangement can be revoked based on an individual’s wishes.

“Such an idea has never worked anywhere worldwide and it will not work in Kenya, even if it’s fronted by the cabinet secretary,” Orengo said.

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Orengo questioned how the idea would be implemented in some of the sensitive departments of the government, such as the military.

“Imagine a soldier in a bandit-prone area or in Haiti fighting for the country, and in the middle of the war, he is informed that his contract has expired. What will happen is as good as anyone’s guess,” Orengo said.

He added that such an idea will not be allowed to ruin workers’ motivating factors of permanent and pensionable terms to please some individuals.

The county boss stated that all workers in the country, be it county governments or at the national level, must have security of tenure to allow them to comfortably pay their loans.

He revealed that even those who are elected have security of tenure, noting that judges are even allowed to be in office for as long as 72 years of age, which is also a form of security of tenure.

Orengo, who is also a senior counsel, said any organisation that is on a contractual arrangement did not change from permanent to contractual as the government wants to be misadvised.

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on Tuesday revealed plans to end all permanent and pensionable jobs in the Public Service, proposing that all civil servants, across all job groups, be placed on contract terms.

Kuria noted that all senior government officials, including the President and Cabinet Secretaries, are on contract. Therefore, all civil servants, including doctors, would be subjected to the same conditions as state officers.

He said the proposal is in motion and is set to be presented to the Cabinet on Friday for review.

“All government workers will be converted to contracts. We are going to convert them from permanent and pensionable to contract but still pensionable. We are going to be on contract because we have to focus on productivity,” Kuria said.

The CS lamented how one million civil servants consumed almost half of the country’s tax revenues, contributing to the country’s public wage bill.

He emphasized the need for austerity measures to lower the wage bill and alleviate the burden on taxpayers.

Kuria mentioned that last week, they were at the Wage Bill Conference and pointed out that one million workers consume 50 per cent of tax revenue.

“That is why if the doctors think we are against them, this week on Friday, I will be moving to Cabinet to present a proposal which if Cabinet approves, all government workers from drivers to cleaners to everyone will be converted to contract. No one will be on permanent terms,” Kuria said.

 

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