Only 151 of us in Baringo payroll, say Illchamus
County discriminates against us and we also have few elected leaders, they say
The Illchamus community has sued the Baringo government for alleged discrimination in job appointments.
“We feel the community is being mistreated, yet the law, especially the NCIC Act, is very clear on the matter of employment in counties,” human rights activist Amos Olempaka said.
The community is classified as a minority group and has a population of less than 40,000 people.
Representatives say the Baringo Public Service Board and the county government marginalises them.
The representatives are Jones Kirati, Kanyaman Tikoyan, Lewuamban Lekichep, Olempaka, Rangal Lemeiguran and Roisan Lesaningo.
The Illchamus want the Baringo government’s employment records audited to determine how jobs are distributed among tribes in the county.
They say the county has more than 4,085 workers from the majority Tugen, making up 83 per cent of the workforce. The Pokot have 221 employ- ees, while the Illchamus only account for 151 employees, including ECDE teachers, the community says.
The Tugen also hold almost all elective posts in Baringo, Olempaka said.
“Under the NCIC Act, the county is not supposed to hire more than 30 per cent of its workforce from one tribe. Looking at the numbers we have, it is pointless to have other communities in Baringo,” he said.
The representatives argue that in 2015 the county PSB advertised several vacancies for members of the Illchamus community. But after being interviewed, no one was hired, the community says.
The representatives accused Baringo of violating the County Government Act, 2012.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission in its recent report indicated that Baringo is among counties with the majority of their employees from one ethnic group, they said.
Olempaka said the Ilchamus will fight to get their rightful share of jobs.
Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi and the county secretary are expected to respond to the suit and explain the hiring process.