The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiques came to sort of revelation in Parliament, that shows the lack of governance and institutionalism that is too common in the Republic of Uganda. That the National Resistance Movement has established agencies under the ministry, but have no-one running them. They have not even appointed boards or even have procedures to select the appointments to them. What a special event. Just take a brief look at the assessment that the Parliament Watch describes from the session today!
“The Committee on tourism trade and Industry has learnt that the different agencies under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities have no Boards. For example, Uganda Tourism Board, Wildlife Education Centre, Uganda Hotel, Tourism and Training Institute. Members have urged the Minister to inform the Prime Minister and the President in the next Cabinet meeting that the Committee will not consider the budget unless the Boards are instituted by the Ministry. Committee observed that it is a deliberate move to control agencies through the line ministry” (Parliament Watch, 25.04.2017).
A definition of a board from Meriam Webster says this: “a group of persons having managerial, supervisory, investigatory, or advisory powers” (Meriam Webster – Definition of board). So the ministry do not at the current state have the capacity to involve people to have a managerial or a supervisory role over agencies beneath themselves. That must be the true definition of steady progress, as state affairs goes, aye?
Like Uganda Tourism Board was already established by 1994. So the NRM has had the time to handpick the men and woman fit for the works and roles, still they have none. So the one agency involved in marketing and promoting the republic as a travelling destination does not have a board. Even the web-page of UTB says this: “The Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, appoints the Board of Directors for Uganda Tourism Board on a 3 year term. The Board has an oversight and advisory role over the work and plans of UTB. The Board of Directors is headed by a Chairperson supported by members representing public and private sector tourism stakeholders” (UTB – Board of Directors link: http://www.corporate.visituganda.com/about-us/board-of-directors/ ).
So the Ministry themselves should have the ability to make decisions fitted for appointing the needed personnel, without having the blessing of the President nor the Prime Minister. This is just one of the agencies and it didn’t take long time to look into it, the funny thing was, when you tried to go to the “Management Team” link on page, the only thing coming up on the page was “Bad”. So the knowledge of missing links and personnel is even visible to the tourism flagship page.
That the Minister Ephraim Kamuntu has work to do and people to employ certainly, also to get budget to keep their salaries in balance, as the agencies does need funds. Certainly, he has a State Minster Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi, who must have some insights and knowledge of some heads to collect. In addition, the Permanent Secretary Doreen Katusiime got know somebody fitting the program and vision of the agencies. If none of these three smart and bright, fellow appointees of the President can pick someone to the boards. Than the Director James Lutalo, should be able to find someone, educated and experienced in the field to envision the progression of the tourism industry and the wildlife experience in Uganda.
With the abundance of Presidential appointments to the Ministry, they should have the capacity and the ability to get the boards up and running, as well as a check-and-balancing act, to see that they do what the Ministry are supposed to do. So that the destination Uganda, can be a splendid travel for tourists. To make sure that they can have the best time while being there. Peace.
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