One is the so called
“vetting” of cops and the other is the circus surrounding the
affairs of the chairman of the Ethics and Anti Corruption
Commission or EACC in short.
These processes are
checking on the suitability of the people concerned to hold
They also have in
common the fact that those people went through a pre employment
process and are now being subjected to some sort of review
This is because it
is felt that either the initial process was not rigorous enough
– as is the case with the boys in blue, or that there are new
developments, which require a re-examination of the premises of
employment or appointment.
The key question for
me is why we got where we are in the first place.
Every year we have a
national recruitment exercise for new policeman and also usually
for the various uniformed services.
We will stick to the
cops for now although the points will be common for all.
As far as the other
higher posts such as Commission Chairs, Commissioners and the
Commisions senior leadership, there is also an established
process and is again common to all and not just the EACC.
What obtains here
will obtain in all. We will stick to the EACC.
The key is that all
are subject to the Civil Service Code of Conduct which was last
revised in 2006 (and note that the Constitution of Kenya was
promulgated in 2010 and the Code of Conduct has still not been
revised six years later!).
The key item we are
looking at is what integrity requirements there are at the time
of employment and then what happens during the course of
employment to ensure that these requirements continue to be
examined and reinforced.
Excerpts from the
Code of Conduct reveal some interesting requirements.
The preamble says
that the rules of conduct are to be observed by a civil servant
so as to maintain his integrity and loyalty to the Government
and also uphold the dignity of the public office to which he has
It also reminds
employees that each civil servant occupies a special position
within the Civil Service and ought to be proud of that position
and ensure that his conduct both in public and in private life
does not bring the Service into disrepute.
It is concludes by
averring that it is imperative that every civil servant adheres
to these rules of conduct, and such other rules which may be
promulgated from time to time.
In the rewards
section the Code of Conduct says that an officer serving on an
incremental scale is not entitled to receive an increment as a
An increment will
only be granted if the officer has discharged his duties with
efficiency, diligence and fidelity.
These are the only
two clauses I could find that related to integrity. Ninety per
cent of the code of conduct relates to terms of service and
I then also looked
at the Rewards and Sanctions Policy Framework from 2014.
Looking at the
preamble for this framework and indeed in the whole body of the
document there was miniscule mention of integrity or ethics as
one of the pillars of determining reward.
The punch line was
that its objective was to ensure high levels of staff motivation
on a sustainable basis, encourage meritocracy and address poor
It therefore seems
strange that various public service organisations are carrying
out vetting of existing officers primarily on corruption issues
when the ways of working do not have a strong requirement for
the setting out of standards and the continuous assessment and
strengthening of the issues.
Looking from outside
it all seems to be a witch hunt and a process set to catch
rabbits in the glare of strong lights at night.
Next week we will
look at some suggestions to change the public service culture
and attitude and also why we should completely revamp this
shambolic process of vetting and reviewing.
As Kachumbari says,
our roads will still be a jungle even after vetting the cops.