Kenya: Yatani Denies Claims He Is Employing Tribemates

22 January 2020

National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani has distanced himself from a list of names indicating that he is behind the employment of dozens of individuals from his tribe to various government positions.

NEPOTISM

Mr Yatani , who was confirmed as the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary last week, said that he reads malice in the information circulating online.

"The names are available for authentication from the Public Service Commission. Some of them are no longer working while others are interns. Others were working in government before I was appointed to the Cabinet," a statement sent from his office said.

A section of leaders from northern Kenya also defended Mr Yatani from allegations that he practises nepotism in every office he holds, saying that he was a victim of local politics from his Marsabit County where he served as the first governor.

"The CS is a victim of clan rivalries and is now being fought due to his insistence that all pending bills owed to contractors by the national and county governments are paid," Mr Roba Elema, a prominent businessman and elder from Marsabit, said yesterday at a press conference in Nairobi.

CLAN POLITICS

Clan elders, youth and other stakeholders who attended the press conference accused a section of leaders of trying to portray the CS in bad light due to clan politics.

"It is not a secret that a section of leaders from Marsabit county were at the forefront in castigating President Uhuru Kenyatta after he nominated Mr Yatani Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Services. This time round, they want to bring him down after he was appointed to the powerful ministry of National Treasury. This has to stop," Mr Elema said.

Marsabit Leaders Forum treasurer Isako Abduba challenged Marsabit Governor Mohamed Ali to come openly and support the Treasury CS so as to demonstrate that he was not the one behind the smear campaign against Mr Yatani.

A list of 31 names shared with the Nation indicated that seven of the names listed as NSSF members of staff were interns, four others who work as support staff in Mr Yatani's office were employees of the Public Service Commission while a number of the remaining had been nominated or seconded to parastatals by various ministries and agencies.

PENDING BILLS

"I was shocked to learn that my name was among those listed as working as a member of the NSSF Board of Trustees yet I have never worked there," Mr Aden Mekona said.

According to the list, the employed individuals are distributed among the Borana, Burji, Gabbra, Rendille, Wayu and Borana, which are some of the communities from the 14 tribes which make up Marsabit County.

However, the Gabbra and Borana are the main protagonists in the county. Mr Yatani is a Gabbra while Governor Ali comes from the Borana community.

Mr Elema accused the Marsabit governor of playing politics with payment of pending bills owed to suppliers and contractors since most of the bills were incurred when Mr Yatani was the governor.

"He thinks that by not clearing the pending bills he is punishing suppliers and contractors who supplied services during the tenure of Mr Yatani as governor but he is only punishing his own people," he said.

PARTIALLY COMPLIED

By December last year, Marsabit was among the 20 counties that had partially complied with the Presidential directive to pay pending bills.

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