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Economy

Uhuru, Ruto lose powers to hire advisers in new rules

Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will lose the powers to hire and influence the pay of their special advisers if a new set of regulations is adopted.

The proposals state that these appointments will be done by the Public Service Commission (PSC), which will also set their salaries and perks.

The top executives have had a free hand in picking their special advisers who draw salaries from taxpayers.

“The commission shall be responsible for the appointment of advisers to the President, Deputy President and Cabinet secretaries,” say the new regulations.

“The commission shall determine the number of advisers who shall be appointed for the President and Deputy President as may be needed for carrying out the functions of the office.”

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The aides will have to meet tough conditions set by the commission such as having skills and qualifications for the job, free from graft and unethical behaviour and will not direct or supervise other public servants.

The advisers will only be tapped from out­side the civil service if there is no public servant with the skills required.

The current and former presidents have preferred to tap outsiders for the position.

“Each adviser shall be appointed on contract for a period not exceeding three years and may be renewable only once for a period not exceeding three years,” says the new regulations.

“The commission shall determine the grading and terms of service of each adviser.”

President Kenyatta’s advisers and those of Mr Ruto enjoy hefty perks such as government vehicles, drivers and bodyguards.

The two top executives had 20 special advisers by end of 2014, some 18 months in power, working full time.

They included political, agriculture and food security, regional integration, legal affairs and education advisers.

At the moment, only Dr Korir Sing’oei is list­ed as the adviser to Dr Ruto on legal matters among the top staff in the deputy president’s office, according to the Presidency website, which does not list advisers attached to President Kenyatta.

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