𝐆𝐀𝐙𝐄𝐓𝐓𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐈𝐌𝐏𝐋𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐎𝐅 𝐃𝐄𝐒𝐈𝐆𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐃𝐒𝐇𝐈𝐏 𝐀𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐒 𝐈𝐒 𝐔𝐍𝐃𝐄𝐑𝐖𝐀𝐘, 𝐒𝐀𝐘𝐒 𝐇𝐎𝐍. 𝐌𝐎𝐒𝐄𝐒 𝐊𝐔𝐑𝐈𝐀
The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Performance and Delivery Management, Hon. Moses Kuria appeared before the Senate Plenary today to respond to Questions raised by Kirinyaga County Senator Joseph Kamau Murango; and two petitions by Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), Kilifi Branch and Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Taita Taveta Branch.
Sen. Joseph Murango had requested to know the criteria used by the Ministry to categorize and gazette areas as hardship zones in the country; why Mwea Constituency in Kirinyaga County has not been gazette as a hardship area considering the adverse conditions in most parts of the constituency; and when the Ministry intends to classify Mwea Constituency as a hardship area in order to compensate public servants who serve in the region under adverse conditions.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), Kilifi Branch and Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Taita Taveta Branch through the Senate Standing Committee on Education had raised concerns regarding alleged discrimination by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) on payment of hardship allowance and enhanced housing allowance to teachers in Kilifi County and discrimination in payment of hardship allowance to teachers in Taita Taveta County respectively.
Hon. Moses Kuria submitted to the House that designated hardship areas in the Public Service for purposes of payment of hardship allowance are remote areas categorized as lacking or having inadequate basic social services, amenities and infrastructure, such as food, water, transport and communication services, social services, climate and terrain, security and poverty index. The number of designated hardship area for the Teaching Service was increased from 36 to 44 in 2005. They include Suba, Kuria, Busia, Kajiado, Nakuru, Laikipia, Kitui, Kilifi, Keiyo, Marakwet, Kwale, Trans Mara, Mwingi, Tharaka, Mbeere, Malindi, Machaks, Nyeri, Kiambu, Maragwa, Nyandarua, Kericho, Kisumu, Thika, Koibatek, Narok, Makueni, Isiolo, Moyale, Marsabit, Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, Lamu, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Baringo, Samburu, Turkana, West Pokot, Ijara, Nandi and Meru North. The Civil Service both National and County Governments have 16 designated hardship areas while the Judiciary has 21 areas designated as hardship areas based on location of the law courts.
The Cabinet Secretary informed the Senators that the government is aware of the existing disparities in designated hardship areas in the Public Service and in order to address the same and promote fairness and parity of treatment of public servants, the Ministry of Public Service and Gender constituted an Inter-Agency Technical Committee. The Committee comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Public Service and Gender, Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of the National Government, Ministry of Education, The National Treasury and Planning, the Judiciary, Public Service Commission, Teachers Service Commission, Salaries and Remuneration Commission, Commission on Revenue Allocation, The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and the Council of Governors. A report has been prepared awaiting submission to the Cabinet for approval.
Mwea Constituency in Kirinyaga County is currently not designated as a hardship area for purpose of payment of hardship allowance, while in Kilifi County only Ganze Division is designated as hardship for Teachers under TSC, and the entire Taita Taveta County is designated as hardship area for teachers under TSC, reported the CS. However, regarding classification of Mwea Constituency as a hardship area, payment of hardship allowance and enhanced housing allowance for teachers in Kilifi and Taita Taveta Counties, gazettement and implementation of the designated hardship areas will be undertaken upon approval by the Cabinet.
In his conclusion, the Cabinet Secretary assured the House that his Ministry looks forward to continued partnership with the Senate and will continue undertaking its mandate of guiding the Service and creating the enabling work environment for efficient and effective service delivery to all citizens.