Auditor accuses bullets firm of ethnic bias in hiring

Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Auditor-General Edward Ouko has cited an Eldoret-based bullet manufacturer for flouting the law that requires that not more than 30 per cent of employees come from one ethnic community.

Mr Ouko says that out of the 297 staff employed at the Kenya Ordinance Factories Corporation 47 per cent, or 140, are from one ethnic group.

“Audit review of the payroll for the month of June 2016 showed that the Kenya Ordinance Factories Corporation had a staff establishment of 297 out of which 140 or 47 per cent of staff were from the same ethnicity leaving only 157 or 53 per cent for other ethnicities,”

Mr Ouko said in a qualified audit report dated July 11, 2017, and tabled in Parliament by Leader of Majority Aden Duale. Mr Ouko says the firm has 14 board members and 13 senior managers, out of which four are from one ethnic community.

“This is contrary to section 7 (1) and (2) of the National Cohesion and Integration Act, 2008, which requires that all public establishments seek to represent the diversity of the people of Kenya in employment of staff and that no public establishment shall have more than one third of its establishment from the same ethnic community,” Mr Ouko says.

The auditor accuses the management of the firm of breaching the law.

“Consequently, the management has contravened the one-third ethnic diversity rule on staff establishment as a means of promoting national unity,” he says.

The corporation, established in 1997, is mandated to manufacture military hardware, machinery and equipment.

The firm produces ammunition for small arms for the country’s use and sells surplus.