MBS Espisu defends Secretaries role at rallies; Is the Secretaries role to be loyal to the President or to the People?
It isn’t everyday there is election and that the Spokesperson for the Presidency of Kenya are benign and default by the values of governance and who the government are. Therefore, the defense from the spokesperson proves how little they care for accountability and transparency, as the Cabinet Secretaries and Permanent Secretaries takes parts of Election Rallies in Kenya, as the Jubilee Government doesn’t care about their neglect of opposition and that they are supposed to represent all Kenyans, not just the voters of the Jubilee Party. But hey! Manoah Esipisu the spokesperson is clearly seeking a pay-rise and bonuses for his loyalty to Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto.
The Kenyan Public Service Act of 2015 says this in the Subsection 8 (1A and 1B):
“Transparency and provision to the public of timely accurate information
(1) A public officer shall not—
(a) give information that the public officer knows or ought to know to be inaccurate; or
(b) unduly delay the provision of any information where required to provide that information” (Laws of Kenya, 2015).
Why do I start with that enacted law of Public Service, since the Manoah Esipisu, feels like it is okay that the ones in Public Office, as Principal Secretaries and Cabinet Secretaries attending the Election rallies, as they are still giving away information that counters with the Public Service Act of 2015, would that be justified by the Spokesperson of the State House. Please take a look at his genius reasoning!
“Public servants participating in politics
Second, Let me respond to your questions on whether public servants are playing politics by speaking at public barazas or interacting with citizens and talking about the direction our country is heading. First, public servants, including Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and other senior staff cadre have a duty of accountability to the Kenyan people. They have to account on the progress the administration of President Uhuru Kenyatta has made since taking office; they have to account for the trillions of shillings in taxes collected from the Kenyan people and invested in infrastructure development and other services; and they have to account for the confidence invested in them by the Kenyan people. Why are they supporting the President and the Jubilee administration, some of you have asked? Because they are accountable to the President who appointed them in the first place, and whose vision of service to the Kenyan people it is their duty to operationalise. And why would they appear to be directly campaigning for the President? No, they are not campaigning. They are merely describing the investments made under President Kenyatta and the impact thereof, and why therefore it is important for the President to be re-elected to continue with the task of transforming Kenya. For us, it is really a question of accountability. It is precisely because public officers are speaking more that the country acknowledges that Kenya is irreversibly transforming” (President.co.ke, 2017).
I agree with the State House Spokesperson that the Cabinet and Principal Secretaries has to account to the citizens. That is necessary and is expected. Therefore, they have other duties than standing on stage and promoting their jobs, instead of working tireless for the citizens. It is hard to say they are not campaigning, when they are taking parts and participating at the rallies. Are the appointed secretaries fish out of water? Since they are swimming in the sea, but not feeling the water. That is the reasoning of the Spokesperson, wouldn’t they defend Kenyatta and Ruto on the podium in Eldoret, Nakuru or Thika.
The disrespectful idea that they first have to be accountable for the President and therefore has to show up at rallies, is what he said at one point. A point he used before “no, they are not campaigning”, still they are firstly representing the people, secondly their appointed by the President. The President is also representing people and gotten his place because of the citizens. So they are all not really playing their parts, as secretaries as they supposed to be there as civil servants and not as subjects under the President.
As the Constitution of Kenya of 2010 Stems for Section 152. (3) says: “A Cabinet Secretary shall not be a Member of Parliament”. With this statement in the law, means that the Cabinet Secretaries nomination as all a favor of their merits and their judgment in their field. If they we’re qualified, the President wouldn’t appoint the person. Therefore, the decision to take part of the rallies, show they are more loyal to the President, than to the Kenyan people.
Because if they take part of Jubilee Rallies only and not even parts of Cord/NASA rallies, than their respect as representing all citizens of Kenya is gone, than they are just loyal subjects to Kenyatta who appointed them. Is the message the Kenyan voters needs to know months ahead of the coming elections? That they are not obligated to inform the Cord/NASA electorate, only the Jubilee? Isn’t that the mere effort and effect of having the Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries attending rallies, to show flex and have the strength that the opposition parties doesn’t have?
I have to ask a very stupid question to the Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu, who pays the Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries? Is the President and his Political Party or is it the State Coffers and the tax-payers monies? Since the initial loyalty shouldn’t be to only the man who saw faith in you, but also to where the paycheck comes from. The Secretaries are paid by the guidelines of Public Service, means they are serving the public first with needed services. They are not existing because Kenyatta needs people to greet and pose with at Voi, Kitui or Lodwar. That could happen, but shouldn’t be their sole mission as public servants.
That the Secretaries has a mission to the state, as effect of the works of the ministries, because of that be accountable to the citizens, is clear-cut, since they represent the people in the works and their efforts at their respected fields. Still, they shouldn’t be participating in partisan rallies for either the ones seeking re-election or the ones trying to force them out.
So I cannot support the efforts made by MBS Manoah Esipisu, who serves Kenyatta diligently, but does not serve his purpose as civil servant. Esipisu shows loyalty to Kenyatta, before the best of knowledge to the Kenyan people. Peace.
President.go. – ‘Spokesperson’s Weekly Briefing, Eldoret State Lodge, 2nd April 2017’ (02.04.2017) link: http://www.president.go.ke/2017/04/02/spokespersons-weekly-briefing-eldoret-state-lodge-2nd-april-2017/
Laws of Kenya – ‘PUBLIC SERVICE (VALUES AND PRINCIPLES) ACT’ – No.1A of 2015