The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has faced a setback in its staffing endeavors following a ruling by the High Court in Nairobi, which deemed its recent recruitment of 1,406 revenue service assistants unconstitutional. Justice William Musyoka delivered the verdict on Monday, highlighting concerns over the allocation of positions favoring specific ethnic communities, in contravention of laws promoting diversity, inclusion, and regional balance.

In his ruling, Judge Musyoka emphasized that a significant portion of the advertised job opportunities were disproportionately assigned to the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities, infringing upon principles of fairness and equal opportunity in employment practices. He asserted that as a public entity, KRA is obligated to ensure equitable access to employment, training, and advancement opportunities for individuals from all ethnic backgrounds and persons with disabilities.

Moreover, Justice Musyoka dismissed KRA’s justification that the overrepresentation of Kikuyu and Kalenjin applicants was due to a higher volume of applications from these communities, citing insufficient statistical evidence to support such claims. He suggested that the selection process should have prioritized competence and academic qualifications rather than ethnicity.

The ruling declared the June 2023 recruitment exercise as unconstitutional, citing violations of constitutional provisions on diversity and inclusion. Justice Musyoka underscored the disparities between the allocated slots and the demographic composition of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin populations, indicating a glaring imbalance in representation.

Furthermore, the High Court issued an injunction preventing KRA from conducting any further recruitment or appointments until a comprehensive policy addressing ethnic diversity and regional balance is established. The judge emphasized the urgency of implementing such a policy within 30 days to prevent the perpetuation of biased staffing practices within the organization.

Without clear guidelines on ethnic diversity and regional balance, Justice Musyoka warned of the potential for future recruitment processes to yield similar outcomes, perpetuating unfair advantages for certain communities at the expense of others. Therefore, the court’s decision serves as a directive for KRA to revise its recruitment strategies to ensure fairness, transparency, and adherence to constitutional principles.

Leave a Reply