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Freeze on hiring civil servants over cash crunch returns to haunt state

Posted by: vera-obonyo

More than a third of civil servants are due for retirement but theres a government hiring freeze.

Experts warn of disruption of services and loss of expertise if they retire now.

At least 1,700 state employees have passed retirement age, but have been retained because of their expertise.

A huge workforce in government will soon be retiring. This will slow services and the economy, said Vera Obonyo, deputy director of Kenya School of Government.

Treasury CS Henry Rotich wrote a memo in Decemer last year to freeze new hires to curb the rising wage bill.

Vera Obonyo, deputy director of the school, said retiring workers had acquired crucial knowledge for running the government.

This emerged yesterday during the start of a two-day Knowledge Management Conference at Enashipai Spa in Naivasha. It is organised by the Kenya School of Government.

Obonyo said its necessary to tap the knowledge and expertise of the 35 per cent of civil servants who are leaving by hiring new workers.

Obonyo said KSG is tackling the issue and the conference aims to come up with ways of tapping knowledge.

The big challenge we have is lack of sensitisation, funding and change of mindset, she said.

Moses Wadeguh, a director of Phowad Solution Limited, said when expert workers are retained, though they are supposed to retire, opportunities for younger people are limited.

Eighty per cent of knowledge an individual has is obtained from his place of work. When these workers leave, the government has no option but to hire or train others, he said.

His remarks were backed by Ken Gichinga, MD of Mentorai Consulting. He said many counties are not aware of their strength.

Gichinga said many counties are involved in copy-paste systems.

Courtesy: George Murage, The Star Newspaper

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