Kenyan government CEOs to serve for life as millions of Kenyans wallow in poverty because of no jobs

The circular comes on the backdrop of a court case seeking to remove KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini whose term has expired.

According to a circular issued by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua dated February 27, 2018, and titled ‘Terms of Service for State Corporation’s Chief Executive Officers’ the government has done away with age limits for senior public officials.

“The Government has noted lack of clarity on terms of service for chief executive officers of state corporations and concerns at service period, which in some instance has led to litigation,” Kinyua’s circular copied to all Cabinet secretaries, the Attorney General, and all principal secretaries.

The circular states that the terms of service for CEOs are contractual and renewable based in performance and business requirements, and that they are not subject to the general public service policy on mandatory retirement at 60 or 65 years or limit as to the number of terms served.

“The Circular No. OP. CAB.2/7A of March 20, 2009 on review of mandatory retirement age for public servants is therefore, not applicable to State corporations’ chief executive officers,” wrote Kinyua, referring to the policy that raised retirement age from 55 to 60 years.

The directive means that the CEOs can be re-appointed as many times as the appointing authority deems fit and work beyond the mandatory retirement age of 60.

This is despite millions of young educated and skilled Kenyans wallowing in poverty because of lack of jobs.

According to the recent report by United Nations; Human Development Index (HDI) 2017, Kenya’s unemployment rate stands at a staggering 39.1 percent, the highest in the region.

Section 80 of the Public Commission Act that bars public officers from serving beyond the 60-year age limit.

Data from the December, 2016 payroll revealed that 35 per cent of national government employees are aged between 51 and 60 years while 53 per cent are above 46 years.

The circular comes on the backdrop of a court case seeking to remove Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Njiraini whose term has expired.

The Government is battling to retain the KRA boss who attained the age of 60 on December 19 last year while his second and final term expired on February 3 this year.

Similarly, Central Bank of Kenya Deputy Governor Sheila M’Mbijjewe, who attained the official retirement age on Mach 6 this year, is still in office.

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge has said that his deputy would serve her full contract, which runs to mid next year.

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